The Government of Saskatchewan and the Japan Coal Energy Center (JCOAL) have a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to encourage more cooperation between the province and Japan on technologies respecting clean coal and carbon capture and storage.
Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd and JCOAL Chairman Yoshihiko Nakagaki signed the MOU on January 25 in Tokyo during the minister's resources investment mission to Asia.
The agreement sets the stage for future information exchanges and research projects involving scientists and companies in both jurisdictions and could lead to Japanese investment in Saskatchewan carbon capture and storage projects.
"JCOAL has a great track record in clean coal technology research and Saskatchewan is a world leader in carbon capture and storage technology," Boyd said. "It's taken a lot of work on both sides to make this MOU happen, and the relationships we establish through it will help both Saskatchewan and Japan as our industries and utilities work to reduce their environmental footprints."
Saskatchewan is Canada's third largest coal producer, with reserves that will last hundreds of years at current production levels.
"The technical co-operation coming out of this MOU may well help us unlock some of our province's deeper coal resources, which require new and innovative technologies to be developed," Boyd said.
JCOAL is a non-profit organization representing more than 100 Japanese coal, gas, steel and mining companies as well as manufacturers and electricity utilities. It receives funding from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and its subsidiary, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.
Saskatchewan's expertise in carbon capture and storage technology includes the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project being led by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC); the International Test Centre for CO2 Capture at the University of Regina; the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of CO2; PTRC's Aquistore Project; and SaskPower's integrated carbon capture and sequestration project at Boundary Dam, among other research.