1.0 Introduction to the Project

Project Pioneer would have been one of the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects to utilize an integrated approach for CCS, and was expected to serve as a prototype for the long-term, commercial-scale application and integration of CCS technologies to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The partners in Project Pioneer were TransAlta Corporation (TransAlta), Capital Power LP. (CPLP), Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge), the Alberta provincial and Canadian federal governments, and the Global CCS Institute as a Knowledge Sharing Partner.

Project Pioneer was being proposed to capture 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually from a coal fired power plant and to transport the CO2 by pipeline to a sequestration site or to be utilized for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in a depleted oil/gas field.

The key components of Project Pioneer were:

  • Carbon capture facility (CCF)
  • Pipeline from the CCF to the sequestration site
  • Pipeline from the CCF to the EOR site
  • Saline formation sequestration site

The Carbon Capture Facility (CCF) portion of Project Pioneer was to have been retrofitted onto the Keephills 3 coal-fired power plant. Keephills 3 is located approximately 70 km west of Edmonton, Alberta and is jointly owned by TransAlta and Capital Power.

The CCF would have treated approximately one third of the flue gas from Keephills 3 and would have captured approximately 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually. The CO2 would have been compressed and transported by pipeline to a sequestration site to be injected approximately 2 km underground into a saline formation known as the Nisku Formation. A pipeline was going to have been built also to transport the CO2 to the primary EOR target, the Pembina oilfield, where the CO2 would have been injected and used for EOR. The Pembina oilfield is approximately 80 km southwest of the Keephills 3 facility.

fig. 2.0