Project: Swan Hills
Company/Alliance: Swan Hills Synfuels
Location: Swan Hills, Central Alberta, Canada
Start Date: This project has been postponed due to the low gas prices
Original dates: Pilot (2009); Construction (2013); Capture start date (date 2015)
Size: 1.3 Mt/yr
CO2 Source: ISCG (In Situ Coal Gasification) process: Unmineable coal seams at 1400 meters depth. Pre combustion capture
The full scale project is estimated to cost $1.5 billion. The demonstration project has a projected cost of $30 million. $8.83 million was provided through the Alberta Energy Research Institute and $285 million from Alberta's $2 billion Carbon Capture and Storage Fund. This money will be provided by 40% initially, 20% after commercial start-up and the remaining 40% over the next 15 years.
In February 2013, the Alberta Government and Swan Hills synfuels announced that due to the low gas process the project was not economically viable.
This project has been deferred because of the low cost of natural gas. Swan Hills Synfuels will continue with the Swan Hills project when the natural gas prices rise into a range that will make the project economically feasible. (The project will be revisited when the price of natural gas stabilizes at around $5 per gigajoule. The price at the time of suspension in February 2013 was less than $3 per gigajoule)
The project will use ISCG to tap deep, unmineable coal to produce syngas that will be processed in a conventional gas plant to remove CO2 as a by product stream. The syngas will then be piped to a combined cycle power generation station to produce low emissions electricity. A pilot project was started in June 2009 and was the first phase of the ISCG demonstrations. It ran successfully for 2 months until July 2009. The commercial-scale project is due to begin operation in 2015. The project includes the ISCG facility, a syngas pipeline and CO2 sequestration infrastructure. The captured CO2 will be sold to the operators of EOR projects and transported via pipeline to oil fields in the Swan Hills area.
Project Link: Synfuels Swan Hills project website
Other Sources and Press Releases:
Swan Hills Synfuels defers carbon capture project because of low natural gas prices (February 2013)
Alberta and Swan Hills Synfuels close on $285M in funding for CO2 capture from underground coal gasification project (August 2011)
Government of Alberta press release (December 2009)