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FCL exploring carbon capture with Whitecap Resources

FCL exploring carbon capture with Whitecap Resources
Headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (SK), Federated Co-operatives Ltd (FCL) are a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing, and administrative co-operative owned by more than 160 independent local co-operative associations in Western Canada (photo courtesy FCL).

Federated Co-operatives Ltd (FCL), a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing, and administrative co-operative owned by more than 160 independent local co-operative associations in Western Canada, has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with compatriot Whitecap Resources Inc that will tangibly increase the amount of carbon dioxide being captured and sequestered in Saskatchewan.

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FCL is committing to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent below 2015 levels by 2030 and aspiring to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Through the planned operating agreement, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions captured from the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) in Regina and Co-op Ethanol Complex (CEC) near Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan (SK), would be transported to, stored, and used as part of the Whitecap-operated Weyburn Unit.

The transition to a low-carbon economy is one of the largest, but most necessary, shifts we’ll have to make in our long history. Carbon capture and the work we’re doing with Whitecap is just one of the multiple paths we’re exploring as part of a strategic plan to integrate sustainable solutions into our operations to improve environmental performance, said Scott Banda, CEO of FCL.

FCL will fund, construct and operate facilities at the Co-op Ethanol Complex and Co-op Refinery Complex that combined will capture nearly 500 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) annually and transport it to the Weyburn Unit, which is the single largest anthropogenic carbon sequestration project in the world.

The CEC annually produces up to 150 million litres of grain-derived ethanol, which is blended into CO-OP Fuels at the Co-op Refinery Complex.

We are pleased to partner with FCL in support of their commitment to transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Leveraging our experience and expertise in carbon sequestration will help advance FCL towards its climate goals and provide significant economic benefits to the people of Saskatchewan, said Grant Fagerheim, CEO of Whitecap Resources.

The Weyburn Unit has sequestered over 36 million tonnes of CO2 since the project’s first injection in 2000. The project is expected to continue to sequester carbon at a rate of about two million tonnes per year.

Today’s announcement firmly positions Saskatchewan as a world leader in innovative carbon capture technology and is just the beginning of significant private investment opportunities in the CO2 sequestration value chain. This proposed project will include CO2-enhanced oil recovery, which lowers GHG emissions by 82 percent compared to traditional extraction methods while increasing production. This is good news for the environment and the economy, Saskatchewan Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said.

According to FCL, there are “significant environmental and economic benefits for Saskatchewan but clarification regarding climate change regulations and incentive programs for projects that support the transition to the low-carbon economy is required to support final investment decisions.”

We currently expect carbon capture at Co-op Ethanol Complex to be completed in 2024 followed by the commissioning of carbon capture at Co-op Refinery Complex starting in 2026, the statement said.

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