Alberta issues request for expressions of interest in carbon sequestration hub
On September 9, 2021, the Alberta government issued a request for expressions of interest (REOI) from companies interested in building, owning and operating a carbon sequestration hub in the province. The REOI marks the latest step in Alberta’s pursuit of advancing carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology and capitalizing on opportunities to reduce emissions across the energy sector.
The REOI is an opportunity for companies to submit information that will be used to develop the final process for issuing sequestration rights with respect to the development of an Albertan carbon sequestration hub.
Earlier this year, the Alberta government announced its plan to issue carbon sequestration rights through a competitive process that enables the development of carbon sequestrations hubs. We discussed this announcement in our previous blog post following Alberta Energy’s release of Information Letter 2021-19 in May 2021.
The party or parties that are successful in the competitive process to become hub operators will collect, transport and permanently store captured carbon dioxide from various industrial emissions sources. This approach of developing managed “carbon sequestration hubs” was chosen to ensure that CCUS in the province is carried out in a responsible and strategic manner and to protect the integrity of Alberta’s pore space. For more information, see our recent post on Alberta’s current regulatory regime for CCUS.
The REOI issued on September 9 is intended to gather information that will inform an upcoming request for full project proposals (RFPP), which the Alberta government anticipates releasing in December 2021. Following the conclusion of the RFPP process, the Alberta government will evaluate the full project proposals received and grant a carbon sequestration agreement to a successful proponent (or proponents) to facilitate the hub operator role. The plan is for successful proponents to be selected by the end of March 2022.
The intent of the carbon sequestration agreement issued through the RFPP process will be to grant the right to drill wells, conduct evaluation and testing and inject captured carbon dioxide into deep subsurface formations. It would also require the agreement holder to ensure open access to the hub, provide competitive market service rates, address how carbon offsets or credits will be managed and provide an opportunity for Albertans to realize economic benefits as operations advance.
How to participate in the REOI process
Companies interested in submitting an expression of interest (EOI) have until October 12, 2021, to do so. They can access the REOI Guidelines [PDF] for information on the required length, format and criteria for EOI submissions. Once completed, EOIs are to be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Carbon Hub Expression of Interest – Company or Project Name”.
Participation at the REOI stage is not required to be eligible to participate in the RFPP process, but given that the RFPP process will be informed by information received through the EOIs, companies stand to benefit by participating in the REOI process to the extent they are interested in building, owning and operating a carbon sequestration hub in Alberta.