The project will pilot Alstom’s chilled ammonia process. TransAlta considers the process as one of the more promising and potentially lowest cost solutions for CO2 capture and storage (CCS).

TransAlta plans to work with Alstom to retrofit the technology at one of its coal-fired generating stations near Edmonton and reduce current CO2 emissions by one million tonnes per year.

The first phase of the overall project, aimed at advancing and improving understanding of CO2 capture and storage technology will begin in 2008 with engineering, stakeholder relations and regulatory work at a cost of approximately $12 million. Project development will continue over the next five years with testing expected to commence in 2012.

Philippe Joubert, executive vice president and president of Alstom’s power systems division, said: Our project with TransAlta is a key part of our objectives for the early deployment of the technology. There will be no CCS without storage and we are aware of the favorable geological conditions in Alberta, Canada. That is why we have set this region as a priority for our development efforts.