Atlas Carbon Storage Hub moves ahead in Edmonton

The new facility will leverage technology and lessons from Shell’s Quest CCS project.

Quest CCS facility – CO2 stripper in forefront (CNW Group/Shell Canada Limited)

Key Takeaways:

  • The project represents a significant advancement in ATCO’s and Alberta’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The captured CO2 from industrial facilities will be permanently stored underground.
  • The facility is designed as a multi-phase project with initial storage capacity secured by Shell’s existing carbon capture project. Future development will cater to the needs of ATCO and Shell, with additional space available for other industrial emitters in the region.
  • The Atlas Hub will leverage the experience and technology from Shell’s Quest CCS project.

The Whole Story:

ATCO EnPower and its partner Shell Canada Limited have decided to proceed with the first phase of the Atlas Carbon Storage Hub.

ATCO stated that the investment in this multi-phase, open-access carbon storage hub is a major milestone in its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The facility will be located east of Edmonton and able to store industrial emissions from the Alberta Industrial Heartland region.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward in Alberta’s energy transition. Carbon capture and storage is a critical component of our successful energy future,” said Bob Myles, chief operating officer, ATCO EnPower. “ATCO EnPower is actively working across all aspects of the energy transition value chain, and collaborative efforts with government, our partners and local communities have been instrumental in advancing this initiative.”

ATCO EnPower and Shell are 50/50 partners in the Atlas Carbon Storage Hub, which is located in the middle of Alberta’s energy and petrochemical sector. The first phase of the Atlas project is planned to be operational by 2028, anchored by CO2 volumes from Shell’s Polaris carbon capture project.

Future development of Atlas, which is subject to a future investment decision, will be aimed at meeting both ATCO EnPower and Shell’s carbon storage needs, with remaining capacity available for third-party emitters through open access.

A C02 pipe at the Quest CCS facility near Edmonton. – Shell Canada

The Atlas Carbon Storage Hub is integral to ATCO’s decarbonization and ESG targets. The facility is expected to provide a resource for emitters in the Alberta Industrial Heartland to reduce both their carbon emissions and carbon tax liability.

The Atlas Hub plans to leverage the lessons learned from Quest CCS, which was built and is operated by Shell at the Scotford upgrader near Edmonton. The Quest project originated as a collaboration between Shell Canada, other oil sands producers, and the Canadian and Alberta governments. Following construction, the Quest facility achieved mechanical completion in February 2015

Quest has safely stored over nine million tonnes of CO2 since it began operations in 2015. The project exceeded expectations by capturing and safely storing over 1 million tonnes of CO2 by September 2016, ahead of schedule. Additionally, Shell has made the project’s design and learnings publicly available to promote wider CCS adoption.

Shell’s Quest facility captures carbon dioxide emissions from an oil sands upgrader using a chemical solvent. The captured CO2 is then compressed and transported via pipeline to a deep underground rock formation where it’s safely stored, permanently preventing its release into the atmosphere.


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