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2015 start date for proposed CO2 pipeline

A proposed pipeline that would carry carbon dioxide from east of Edmonton to Central Alberta should be operating by the middle of 2015, says the CEO of the company behind the project.

“We should start seeing some construction occurring in 2013, but the pipeline itself . . . would probably be in 2014,” said Susan Cole of Enhance Energy Inc.

Enhance announced in 2008 plans to develop a 240-km line from the Industrial Heartland region near Fort Saskatchewan to a site near Clive. It plans to collect CO2 from large industrial emitters and use the greenhouse gas to stimulate oil production in Central Alberta by injecting it into mature reservoirs.

Critical for the success of the $1.2-billion project is sufficient CO2, with Agrium Inc.’s Redwater fertilizer complex and a planned bitumen upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan expected to lead the way. Earlier this month, the North West Redwater Partnership — which involves North West Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Upgrading Ltd. — confirmed that it would be proceeding with the first phase of the bitumen upgrader.

“It’s great news for us,” said Cole. “We were waiting for the announcement.”

The upgrader is expected to capture 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year for each of its three phases.

Cole said this production, and the CO2 from Agrium, makes the pipeline viable.

“Really, that’s all we need to get it started. But certainly, we continue to look for other suppliers and we’re talking to various people.”

Cole said equipment for Agrium’s capture facilities is already being purchased.

“Actually, a good majority of it has come from Alberta suppliers.”

Meanwhile, the detailed engineering work for the pipeline is now complete, she said.

“We’re just going into a procurement phase for the pipe.”



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