Investment in CCUS infrastructure is expected to generate billions in new construction. "There will be major facilities built, including a $2.5 billion carbon capture plant," says Addison. "Roads will be needed to support these facilities, and there will be a network of pipelines to carry the carbon to disposal sites."
One of the most important projects to date, the recently completed Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL), is designed to carry up to 2 megatonnes of CO2 annually. There will also be significant retrofitting projects as existing facilities improve their carbon footprint. "A lot of the work will involve existing facilities," says Addison, "for example, adding carbon capture capabilities to existing natural gas facilities or pumping carbon into the ground where natural gas was extracted."
The future of CCUS will become clearer as the technology matures and government policies evolve. "The future of CCUS will be determined by how important ESG becomes as a differentiator," says Addison. "People weren't winning bids based on their ESG plans until recently, but now, there are certain jobs where they won't let you bid without it. But fast forward ten years, I would bet the farm that there will be major projects where they say, 'give us your bid and give us your carbon plan.'"
The transition will make it increasingly important for contractors to plan for a low-carbon future.
"It's important for contractors to think about their decarbonization strategy today," says Addison. "In terms of heavy equipment, the burning of diesel is a huge component of a contractor's carbon footprint, and hydrogen as a fuel is seen as major step forward."