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Carbon sequestration gets under way in Alberta

Engineering and procurement are proceeding for the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL), a 240-kilometre Edmonto...


Route map for the CO2 Alberta Carbon Trunk Line which will initially draw carbon from the industrial heartlands near Edmonton and transport it to mature oil fields 240 miles north.
Route map for the CO2 Alberta Carbon Trunk Line which will initially draw carbon from the industrial heartlands near Edmonton and transport it to mature oil fields 240 miles north.

Engineering and procurement are proceeding for the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL), a 240-kilometre Edmonton-to-Red Deer carbon-dioxide pipeline, described by its proponents as the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project.
The driving force behind the project is Calgary-based Enhanced Energy Inc. in partnership with North West Upgrading Inc.
At a recent Edmonton forum for industry supplies, Enhanced Energy’s president and CEO Susan Cole said Caber Engineering has been hired as EPCM contractor for the project. Bids have been initiated on compression equipment and tendering on pipe is expected soon. Cole forecast a 2011 start-up of construction and pipeline completion in 2012.
The 16″-diameter pipeline will carry up to 14.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. The Agrium Inc. fertilizer plant at Fort Saskatchewan, near Edmonton, will serve as the initial CO2 source. A new North West upgrader scheduled for construction adjacent to Agrium will become a second CO2 source. The CO2 will be used in enhanced light-oil recovery starting in the Clive area near Red Deer, or it will be sequestered in underground formations.
While ACTL has two defined CO2 sources, ACTL is envisioned as a backbone serving a wider catchment area extending to coal-fired north-central Alberta generating stations and other industrial sites. According to Susan Cole: “We’re starting with one pipe that runs 240 kilometres, but expanding over time to the west, the south and even to the north so that it becomes a supply system.”
The $1.1-billion ACTL project was one of four successful bids for sharing a total of $2-billion from a wider package of Alberta government supports for carbon capture and storage.
The Enhance-led project received $495 million from the province and $63.3 million though the federal ecoEnergy Technology Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund.
Cole compares the ACTL to the provincial government’s 1954 initiation of the Alberta Gas Trunk Line, which spurred a province-wide natural gas transportation system and facilitated the rise of Alberta’s petrochemical industry.