Government funding available for carbon storage and transportation projects

Authors: Andrew Konopelny, Jodi Wildeman, K.C., Randy Brunet, K.C., Thomas Collopy

Carbon storage and transportation is a key and final step to the CCS/CCUS process, taking the captured carbon and storing it deep underground. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is now accepting expressions of interest (EOIs) from organizations seeking government funding to develop carbon storage and transportation technologies.

On January 25, NRCan opened the intake for EOIs for research, design and development (RD&D) projects and activities related to carbon storage and transportation. The intake remains open until April 17, 2023. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full project proposal.

This is the latest intake for EOIs for government funding to support the development of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. In July of last year, NRCan began accepting EOIs from organizations developing novel carbon capture technologies. Those applications are now under review.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the types of projects and activities that are eligible for funding.

Eligible projects

According to the application guide, NRCan is accepting EOIs for research and development (R&D) and demonstration projects that:

  • aim to understand and characterize the injectivity and capacity of existing carbon reservoirs
  • measure, monitor and verify transportation infrastructure and injected CO2, including monitoring for leak detection and seismic risks
  • inject and transport CO2 while preserving the structural integrity of pipelines, as well as projects aimed at compressing CO2 for optimal transportation and injection
  • convert existing infrastructure for CO2 transportation and sequestration

NRCan is also accepting EOIs for related science activities (RSA) that:

  • characterize and develop new carbon storage opportunities
  • identify and quantify potential CO2 storage spaces
  • aim to understand subsurface CO2 temporal behaviour, maximize reservoir capacity and increase confidence in plume immobilization and dynamic pressure limits
  • assess the viability of marine, rail or pipeline transportation in select scenarios
  • apply novel computational techniques to manage reservoirs, streamline site selection and improve seismic modelling

Preference will be given to projects that:

  • enable permanent storage near key industrial areas that do not have current storage capacity
  • explore storage opportunities in regions that are not yet characterized
  • enable planning for CO2 storage hubs
  • generate knowledge that informs and/or supports the development of regulatory frameworks and codes and standards

Eligible activities

Eligible R&D and RSA activities include those that:

  • develop, assess and test novel and innovative equipment, software and methodologies
  • involve pre-demonstration field testing aimed at developing CO2 storage hubs, supporting regulatory knowledge gaps and creating monitoring and verification technologies
  • involve capacity building and training
  • include assessments or reservoir characterization studies aimed at developing models for CO2 subsurface behaviour

Eligible demonstration activities include:

  • the permanent installation of pre-commercial technology
  • the permanent modification of existing processes, equipment or systems to accommodate an innovative technology or process
  • the permanent installation of equipment or infrastructure to support a demonstration project
  • associated engineering, design and permitting costs
  • testing and analyzing pre-commercial equipment
  • CO2 injection and injectability studies

Funding limits

NRCan will fund up to 75% of the total project costs for selected R&D and RSA projects, contributing between $500,000 and $5 million per project. The agency will fund up to 50% of the total costs for selected demonstrations, contributing between $1 million and $5 million for transportation projects and $1 million and $10 million for storage projects. EOIs are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on April 17, 2023.

MLT Aikins has advised on some of the largest CCUS projects developed in Canada to date. If you’re interested in submitting an EOI for your carbon storage or transportation project, we would be delighted to assist you with your application and advise you on your project. Contact us to learn how we can help.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.