Regina & Toronto, November 15, 2012 – CSA Group, a leading developer of standards, codes and training programs, and the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide (IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.), an environmental non-government organization (ENGO), today announced the world's first bi-national carbon capture and storage (CCS) standard for the geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) for Canada and the United States.
CCS is a process consisting of the separation of CO2 from industrial and energy-related sources, transport to a storage location and long-term underground isolation from the atmosphere. Scientists estimate carbon capture units can be used to reduce emissions from industrial plants by 85 to 95 per cent1.
The CSA Z741 Geological storage of carbon dioxide standard is a bi-national Canada-USA consensus standard, developed with a technical committee of more than 30 professionals representing industry, regulators, researchers and NGOs from both sides of the border. The genesis of the standard was a seed document developed by IPAC-CO2 based on their research. It is intended that the new standard will also be used as a basis for the international CCS standards through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
"This standard will help instill public and regulator confidence in the geologic storage of CO2 as an effective CO2 mitigation option," said Carmen Dybwad, Chief Executive Officer of IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. "The publication of this standard is a turning point for the CCS industry and in the quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our fight against climate change."
CSA Z741 Geological storage of carbon dioxide standard provides essential guidelines for regulators, industry and others around the world involved with scientific and commercial CCS projects.
It establishes requirements and recommendations for the geological storage of carbon dioxide to help promote environmentally safe and long term containment of carbon dioxide in a way that minimizes risks to the environment and human health.
"Our Government's top priority is creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity," said Ray Boughen, Member of Parliament for Palliser, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. "Supporting innovative projects such as this improves our competitiveness and solidifies our global presence in the carbon capture and storage field."
"The Bi-National Standard will create a consistent and transparent process for the geologic storage of carbon dioxide," said Saskatchewan Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff. "This supports the province's growth plan as carbon capture and storage technology will allow us to meet our greenhouse gas emission targets while continuing to use coal to generate electricity and minimize costs to consumers."
"This CCS standard is the first of its kind in the world and it was made possible thanks to the support of IPAC-CO2," said Bonnie Rose, President, Standards, CSA Group. "With CO2 storage expected to span generations, we are committed to developing standards that can be used to help establish geological CO2 storage as safe, reliable and sustainable."
Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion 2 reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This represents an increase of 1.0 Gt on 2010, or 3.3 per cent. The IEA has urged for a quick and global push to develop and deploy CCS technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Formally recognized national or international standards for the long-term storage of CO2 are needed to help ensure risks are identified and addressed.
There are eight large-scale CCS projects internationally storing about 23 million tonnes of CO2 each year. The Global CCS Institute's Global Status of CCS: 2012 report3 released last month said an additional eight projects under construction would increase the annual storage volume to 36 million tonnes by 2015. This is about 70 per cent of the IEA's target for mitigation activities by CCS. A top priority for CCS research is the confirmation that geologic CO2 storage is safe, reliable and an environmentally beneficial practice for the long-term.
The standard is primarily applicable to saline aquifers and depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs and does not preclude its application to storage associated with tertiary hydrocarbon recovery. It includes, but is not limited to, recommendations with respect to the safer design, construction, operation, maintenance, and closure of storage sites. It also provides recommendations for the development of management documents, community engagement, risk assessment, and risk communication. The project life cycle covers all aspects, periods, and stages of the storage project, beginning with those necessary to initiate the project (including site screening, selection, characterization, assessment, engineering, permitting, and construction), that lead to the start of injection and proceeding through subsequent operations until cessation of injection; and culminating in the post-injection period, which can include a closure period and a post-closure period. The standard does not specify post-closure period requirements.
CSA Group has extensive experience in developing international environmental and carbon dioxide management standards. On behalf of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), CSA Group manages the Secretariat for the committee that developed the ISO 14000 environmental management and ISO 14064 greenhouse gas management standards. The CCS standard will be submitted to ISO as a basis for the promotion of international standards by the end of 2012. IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. was established to meet a public and regulatory need in the global CCS chain by providing an independent performance and risk assessment and risk management of geologic storage of carbon dioxide.