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Swan Hills ISCG/Sagitawah Power Project

Brief description:


Country: Canada

Project type: Capture Storage

Scale: Large

Status: Dormant

Capital cost: $1.5 billion estimated overall cost for the ISCG/carbon capture and storage system and power generation

Financal support:
Alberta CCS fund

Year of operation 2015
Industry: Coal Power Plant

MW capacity: 300

Capture method: Pre-combustion

New or retrofit: New
Transport of CO2 by: Pipeline

Type of storage: EOR

Volume: 1.4 Mtpa tonnes/CO2


The Swan Hills in-situ coal gasification (ISCG) project in Alberta, Canada, aims to convert deep, unmineable coal into syngas for power generation, while capturing up to 1.3 million tonnes per year of CO2. The project includes an in-situ 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 oilfields in the Swan Hills area.

With moves to secure EOR buyers for the CO2 well advanced, operator Swan Hills Synfuels anticipates a final investment decision by the end of 2013. The first phase of the ISCG demonstration project ran successfully until July 2009, and the commercial-scale venture is due to begin operations in 2015.

A new conventional gas plant in the nearby Whitecourt area, to be operated by a third party, will use the syngas to generate 300MW of power, and CO2 will be removed as a byproduct stream.


The overall cost of the ISCG and CCS system is estimated at $1.5 billion. In December 2009, Swan Hills Synfuels finalised an agreement with Alberta state for C$285 million grant support from its $2-billion Carbon Capture and Storage Fund. Alberta Energy Research Institute has provided $8.83 million. In February 2013 the Alberta government and Swan Hills Synfuels agreed to discontinue their $285 million CCS funding agreement due to persistent low prices for natural gas.


The first phase of the ISCG demonstration project ended in July 2009, providing results towards development of the commercial project. The FEED stage will run until mid-2012. At the same time, permits and approvals will be sought. The venture – including CCS – was scheduled to be operational in 2015, but the funding is now discontinued.

More information and press releases

Swan Hills Synfuels project discontinued

Swan Hills Synfuels presentation, March 2010

Press release, Alberta Government, Swan Hills ISCG Project, December 2009

Process West Magazine project profile, 2009

Project background

Companies involved
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