Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to work together on the development of one of the largest international carbon capture and storage demonstration projects to date.
Under the MOU, the Saskatchewan-Montana partnership will work to achieve the following four goals:
Construction of a technology-neutral CO2 capture plant (reference plant) at an existing coal-fired electrical generating station in Saskatchewan that would have the flexibility to rest a range of post-combustion carbon capture technologies;
Construction of a North American CO2 storage facility in eastern Montana including injection infrastructure with the option of using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery;
Construction of pipeline infrastructure for the transportation of CO2 from the reference plant in Saskatchewan to the storage facility in Montana; and
Development of a North American training facility to meet the needs of a growing CCS industry and regulators, based primarily at the University of Regina and Montana State University.
The estimated of the total cost of the project in Canadian dollars is $270 million (US$231 million). On the Canadian side, it is approximately C$150 million to design and build the CO2 reference plant, related CO2 pipeline infrastructure and a North American training facility for CCS technicians. The Government of Saskatchewan will provide up to C$50 million through Crown Investments Corporation and has requested funding of C$100 million from the federal government through its Clean Energy Fund.
The State of Montana has requested US$100 million from the US Government through the Department of Energy to support construction of a CO2 pipeline on the US side of the border and development of the underground CO2 storage and research in the infrastructure in Montana.
Governor Schweitzer and Premier Wall agreed that the international carbon capture and storage demonstration project will also help address national policy priorities in both countries including the development of near zero, sustainable energy technologies; continental energy security and economic stimulus to support the North American economy.
With the financial support of the Governments of Canada and the United States, construction of the plant could begin as early as September 2009 and the plant could be operational as early as the summer of 2011. The goal for the reference plant is to test a range of technologies in the capture of up to one million tonnes of CO2 over a four-year period.