Investment group

First Nations investment group partners with Enbridge for carbon capture and storage project

Alexander First Nation Chief George Arcand Jr. talks about the group’s decision to form their first partnership

A recently formed First Nations investment group has announced its first deal – a partnership agreement with Enbridge to invest in carbon storage at Wabamun.

The First Nation Capital Investment Partnership (FNCIP) wants to be at the forefront of creating change and improving the environment, Alexander First Nation Chief George Arcand Jr. told about the formation of a partnership on February 3 on the Open Access Wabamun Carbon Hub project.

If approved, the hub is expected to be one of the largest integrated carbon transport and storage projects in the world and could potentially represent “an opportunity to avoid almost four million tonnes of atmospheric CO2 emissions” , according to a press release about the partnership.

The hub would support recently announced carbon capture projects by Capital Power Corporation and Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited. The Lac Ste. The Métis community of Anne will also have the opportunity to own future transportation and carbon storage projects associated with the hub.

Arcand said the FNCIP, which is made up of four Treaty 6 nations, including Alexander First Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Enoch Cree Nation and Paul First Nation, had discussions on several business opportunities before agreeing. comment on Enbridge and the hub project.

“We thought Enbridge was advanced enough to be a good partner and was working on technology that we thought was best for this type of business,” Arcand said.

In an email, David Coll, senior communications advisor at Enbridge, said the company chose to work with FNCIP and Lac Ste. Anne Métis Community because they are closest to the proposed hub and represent Enbridge’s commitment to economic reconciliation and Indigenous inclusion in the energy transition underway today.

“Enbridge has signed letters of intent to work with each of these groups to advance the proposed Wabamun Carbon Hub,” said Coll.

Coll said Enbridge plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon transport and storage infrastructure for the hub and that those dollars will unlock more “significant investment in capture projects that will total in billions of dollars”.

He said the cost of capture is about 80% of the total cost of an integrated CO2 capture, transport and storage project.

Enbridge has submitted an application to develop the open-access hub through the province’s full-project RFP process.

Coll said the hub would be built to meet the timelines of Lehigh Cement and Capital Power’s planned carbon capture projects in the 2025-2026 timeframe.

Arcand said there are still discussions and consultations that need to take place in their communities before the project moves into high gear. They have questions about some environmental aspects of the project, including what will happen to the carbon in 25 years.

Arcand said they still have some way to go to understand the technology behind carbon capture, but Enbridge has agreed to work with them to answer questions from their community members and shareholders about the long-term effects and impacts of the process over short and long periods. of time.

“This technology, I mean, it’s pretty new,” Arcand said.

A carbon capture and storage facility in Fort Saskatchewan was recently criticized for not storing as much carbon as it was emitting in a report by Global Witness, a UK-based NGO

According to Global Witness, the Quest facility emitted 7.5 million tonnes of gas and captured only five million tonnes of carbon over a five-year period.

“Quest’s lesson should be clear cut for governments around the world. Don’t invest in technology that not only fails to deliver effective action to tackle the climate crisis, but actually helps,” said a Global Witness press release on January 20.

In an email, a spokesperson for Shell Canada said it “did not agree with the report’s findings and that any analysis suggesting that Quest was not reducing CO2 emissions was simply false. Quest is in operation since 2015 and has captured and safely stored more than six million tonnes of CO2 The knowledge gained from Quest’s operation will enable the next wave of CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) projects to capture more than CO2 with greater efficiency and lower cost.”

Asked about criticism of the CCS by Global Witness, Coll said carbon capture, transport and storage are key to meeting the country’s CO2 emissions reduction targets, which include reaching net zero emissions from here 2050.

“There is broad support for this view, including recent analysis from the International Energy Agency that says, on a global scale, ‘reaching net zero [greenhouse-gas emissions] will be almost impossible without [CCS]“said Coll.

As the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, the transition must be accomplished in a way that addresses climate change, and this transition will not happen overnight, Coll continued.

“For the transition to be successful with minimal disruption to our economy and way of life, all forms of energy will be needed for years to come,” he said.

As for the criticisms about CCS, Arcand said he thinks we’re still at the beginning of understanding how these things work.

“People are always going to wonder how things are planned and done. I believe that over time we will find better technology. But I think we have to start somewhere.

“For me, it’s a good starting point,” Arcand said.

Coll said FNCIP could own up to 50% of the hub when it is completed, but final investment amounts will not be determined until they reach the definitive agreement stage.