Project Pioneer Publishes its Final Report
Pioneer still sharing knowledge one year later
The purpose of Project Pioneer was to explore the feasibility of, and subsequently to construct and operate one of the first industrial scale demonstration projects of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology retrofitted onto a modern coal-fired power plant. As the name indicates, this was a pioneering effort, and, although a decision not to proceed was made in late April 2012, Project Pioneer continues to serve as a prototype and information source for the commercial-scale application and integration of CCS technology.
Project Pioneer was guided by the following strategic drivers:
• Demonstrating a viable technology option for near-zero emissions from coal-fired electricity;
• Developing an understanding of the economic viability of CCS;
• Implementing a solution to present day greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and for the existing coal fleet; and
• Addressing environmental policy uncertainty and related capital decision-making challenges.
Knowledge sharing was integral philosophy of the Project. The development of a ‘knowledge network’ was a valuable accomplishment of Pioneer. The initial phase of Project Pioneer consisted of extensive front-end engineering and design work and other studies to establish technical feasibility, costs, scale-up considerations, risk mitigation and commercial success. Much of this work has been shared with the international CCS community.
It also included the exploration of commercial structures, development of the CCS regulatory framework in Alberta, regulatory and permitting work, stakeholder consultation and business case development.
About Pioneer’s Partners
Pioneer was developed under the leadership of TransAlta Corporation (TransAlta), with strategic industry partners Capital Power L.P. (Capital Power) and Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge). Financial support was provided by the Governments of Alberta and Canada, and from the Global CCS Institute of Australia. Pioneer was a unique collaboration with varying tiers of involvement; from strategic industry partners, to government funding partners, to service providers and a customer intending to purchase carbon dioxide (CO2) under long-term commercial arrangements.