Shell adds CCS projects to Canada energy and chemicals complex

Article by Aniqah Majid

Tonktiti, Shutterstock
Shell's Polaris facility will have the ability to capture around 650,000 t/y of CO2

SHELL is expanding CCS capabilities at its refinery and chemicals complex in Alberta, Canada with the addition of the Polaris carbon capture facility and its connected Atlas Carbon Storage Hub.

Polaris will have the ability to capture around 650,000 t/y of CO2, which will be transported via 22 km pipelines to two storage wells 2 km underground at the Atlas hub in the Basal Cambrian Sands.

Shell uses the same sand formations to store CO2 from its operational Quest CCS facility, also located at the Scotford site.

Quest CCS, which Shell part owns with Chevron and Canadian Natural Resources Limited, has a CO2 storage capacity of up to 1.2m t/y. The facility had stored more than 8.8m t of CO2 between 2015, when it began operating, and the end of 2023.  

Achieving low-carbon goals

In addition to Quest CCS, the complex near Fort Saskatchewan currently houses a bitumen upgrader, a chemicals plant, and an oil refinery.

Shell expects the Polaris plant to reduce Scope 1 direct CO2 emissions from its refinery by 40% and chemicals complex by 22%.

Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s downstream, renewable and energy solutions director, said: "Carbon capture and storage is a key technology to achieve the Paris Agreement climate goals. The Polaris and Atlas projects are important steps in reducing emissions from our own operations.”

Billion-dollar CCS plans

Shell spent around US$340m on CCS projects in 2023, a 55% increase from 2022. It plans to invest US$10-15bn between 2023 and 2025 into low-carbon energy solutions like renewables and CCS.

The Polaris and Atlas projects are expected to begin operations by the end of 2028. Shell is currently securing an investment decision for the second phase of Atlas, which would see the facility used by partners and third parties to store CO2.

Article by Aniqah Majid

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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