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Meadow Lake Tribal Council to collaborate with Carbon Alpha on CDR in Canada

Meadow Lake Tribal Council to collaborate with Carbon Alpha on CDR in Canada
The MLTC Bioenergy Centre biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant, consists of a 6.6 MWe power generation system that provides process heat for kiln-drying NorSask’s lumber. The facility is fueled by residual woody biomass generated by the NorSask sawmill (photo courtesy MLTC).

In Canada, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) and carbon capture and storage (CCS) project developer Carbon Alpha have announced plans to develop the North Star Project, a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) project near Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.

North Star builds upon the existing MLTC Bioenergy Centre by adding carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The bioenergy centre’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant generates renewable energy fuelled entirely by waste biomass, such as bark and sawdust, from MLTC’s integrated sawmill and sustainably managed forestry operations.

The Meadow Lake Tribal Council is on a journey to increase participation in the Saskatchewan economy for our nine First Nations, including green energy infrastructure development, climate change mitigation, improving environmental outcomes, and supporting our local forestry-based economy in the Meadow Lake area, said Tribal Chief Richard Ben, Meadow Lake Tribal Council.

Forestry biomass consumes carbon dioxide (CO2) over its lifetime. By capturing the biogenic CO2 emissions from the MLTC Bioenergy Centre and injecting it deep underground, the project effectively removes CO2 from the atmosphere safely and permanently, generating high-quality CDR credits.

The project is expected to create up to 125 construction, and 12 permanent jobs once operational. The partners have secured pore space and commenced preliminary front-end engineering (FEED) and expect to reach a final investment decision in mid-2025 with project start-up in mid-2027.

The North Star Project represents added value to our existing facilities and focuses on the newest renewable prospects for our region, carbon dioxide removal. We, along with our partners Carbon Alpha, are completely aligned with the National and Provincial Growth Plans and this opportunity makes good sense. It enables the MLTC First Nations to create ongoing economic development, jobs, contracting opportunities, and optimism for our people, said Tribal Chief Richard Ben.

Once operational, North Star plans to generate about 70,000 CDR credits annually, which would be the largest CDR project in Canada.

However, this represents a fraction of what is required to achieve carbon neutrality – the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it clear that CDR is required to achieve net-zero CO2 targets, and the National Academy of Sciences estimates that 10 billion tonnes of CDR per year will be required by 2050.

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