Polaris project will capture emissions from Shell's chemicals complex near Edmonton; Atlas Carbon Storage Hub will store those emissions. [Image: Shell]

By Dale Lunan

Shell Canada Products said June 26 it had reached a positive final investment decision (FID) for its Polaris carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its Shell Energy and Chemicals Park in Scotford, Alberta, designed to capture 650,000 tonnes/year of CO2 from Shell’s Scotford refinery and chemicals complex.

At the same time, Shell and partner ATCO EnPower sanctioned the first phase of their Atlas Carbon Storage Hub, which will store CO2 captured by the Polaris project. Shell and ATCO EnPower will develop the hub as 50/50 partners.

A future phase of Atlas, which would store emissions from other industrial operations in the Alberta Industrial Heartland outside Edmonton, remains subject to a future FID.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward in Alberta’s energy transition,” ATCO EnPower COO Bob Myles said. “Carbon capture and storage is a critical component of our successful energy future.”

The Atlas Carbon Storage Hub was among the first six CCS hubs selected in 2022 for further study under the province of Alberta’s programme to allocate pore space for hub developments.

Both the Polaris CCS project and the Atlas hub will build on the success of Shell’s Quest CCS facility, which has captured and stored more than 9mn tonnes of CO2 from Shell’s Scotford refinery since 2015. Emissions captured at Polaris will be moved through a 22-km pipeline to a pair of storage wells that will inject the COinto the same Basal Cambrian Sands formation used to store emissions under the Quest project.

Shell first announced plans for Polaris in July 2021.

“Carbon capture and storage is a key technology to achieve the Paris Agreement climate goals,” said Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s Downstream, Renewable and Energy Solutions Director. “The Polaris and Atlas projects are important steps in reducing emissions from our own operations.”

Polaris will have the potential to reduce Shell’s Scope 1 CO2 emissions from its Scotford refinery by up to 40% and from the chemicals complex by up to 22%.

Both projects are expected to be operational towards the end of 2028.

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