This summer was a very busy one for the Knowledge Centre, and for me personally as I settled into the role as President and CEO. Getting to know the members of our talented team and many of our diverse stakeholders in government, industry and academia around the world has been incredibly rewarding. I appreciate the time many people have spent meeting with me and sharing their thoughts and valuable experience about the Knowledge Centre and carbon capture and storage (CCS) generally. I am continually impressed by everyone’s dedication to advancing CCS as a critical means of meeting the world’s ambitious climate goals, and I look forward to meeting more of our partners and colleagues over the remainder of this year.
It is no exaggeration to say that the sky is the limit for the opportunities we see on the horizon. We continue to see a groundswell of interest and activity in CCS, particularly in light of the unprecedented incentives passed in the United States as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as with leadership transition in the United Kingdom that has signaled positive developments for CCS projects in the UK.
Our Regina-based team has never been more occupied sharing our expertise with the world’s first fully integrated, commercial-scale CCS facility on a coal-fired power plant. Virtually every week through the summer saw us hosting tours of the Boundary Dam Unit 3 CCS facility and the Aquistore storage project with our colleagues from SaskPower and the Petroleum Technology Research Centre for delegations from the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Japan, Southeast Asia, and from companies and organizations across Canada. I was pleased that my first visit to the Boundary Dam Power Station was alongside Saskatchewan’s Minister of Environment Dana Skoropad, Minister of SaskBuilds and Procurement Lori Carr, and seven other members of the legislative assembly who expressed genuine interest in how the knowledge this first-of-a-kind facility provides is attracting attention across the globe.
One of my short-term goals has been to position our organization as an independent, authoritative source of information on all aspects of CCS development. To that end, we have been focused on engaging with North American media outlets, highlighting the need for more robust federal policy in ensuring Canada remains competitive in the CCS space. This led to the publication of an opinion editorial in PostMedia papers across Canada, as well as my offering comments on behalf of the Knowledge Centre for two recent stories in the Globe and Mail that reinforced the need for a guaranteed price on carbon to build a business environment where companies could make the decisions to invest billion of dollars in large-scale carbon capture projects.
These were common themes that were reiterated at the first pan-Canadian CCUS convention, known as Carbon Capture Canada, in Edmonton last week. The event showcased CCUS as a key pillar in helping to achieve Canada's net-zero emissions strategy by 2050. The event featured more than 100 exhibitors, 3,000 domestic and international attendees, and a leading conference with over 100 speakers and 500 delegates. It provided a good opportunity for the Knowledge Centre’s team to cultivate business development opportunities through our exhibition booth, which attracted many visitors throughout the two-day conference.
Last week we also made a pair of announcements regarding new business partnerships that will enhance our involvement in large-scale projects across heavy emitting industries. First, we announced a partnership with GLJ, a pre-eminent reservoir engineering and geosciences consulting firm, in which we will work together on joint projects to help clients plan and successfully deliver CCS projects. Second, we formally announced our partnership with Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to provide the 11 successful applicants of the ERA’s Carbon Capture Kickstart program with up to 200 hours of support on their pre-construction design and engineering studies for CCUS projects. Our goal with both partnerships is to build on the Knowledge Centre’s pioneering expertise and enhance our brand as trusted advisors who can help project developers reduce risk, lower costs and improve the performance of CCS projects world-wide. This are exciting developments for the Knowledge Centre, and we are actively seeking qualified individuals to join our team and help us deliver top-quality strategic and technical advisory services to our growing list of clients.
To close, I would like to thank the staff, board members and supporters of the Knowledge Centre for their support during my first four months at the helm of this unique and dynamic organization. I am truly excited about the opportunities that are ahead as we continue to evolve as one of the world’s leading centres for knowledge and expertise on CCS. It is not an easy road, but it is an important and interesting one, and I appreciate the hard work and passion everyone brings to achieving our vision every day.
President and Chief Executive Officer
International CCS Knowledge Centre