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GHGSat Launches Fugitive Emissions Monitoring Project with COSIA

GHGSat of Montréal, Québec, has designed the world’s first satellite for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) and air quality gas (AQG) emissions from any industrial site in the world. The data gathered by this satellite will enable precise monitoring of specific GHG (e.g. CO2, CH4) and AQG (e.g. SO2, NOx) emissions from targeted, individual sites and facilities more safely, reliably and cost-effectively than current methods.

Over the next 18 months, GHGSat will demonstrate its satellite emissions monitoring services to members of the greenhouse gas environmental priority area of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (“COSIA”). Four oil sands operators will participate in the project, led by Imperial Oil. 

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The project will verify GHGSat measurements of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from oil sands tailings ponds and mine faces against local measurements. GHGSat will use its demonstration satellite to perform measurements. Satellite measurements of emissions are expected to provide more precise measurements of total emissions, more frequently and more safely, than current methods. Ultimately, the project will enable oilsands operators to evaluate the feasibility and benefits of GHGSat services for operational use in Canada’s oil sands.

GHGSat’s demonstration satellite weighs less than 15 kg and carries an innovative spectrometer capable of measuring trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere will high precision and high spatial resolution. It will be the first satellite ever launched capable of measuring fugitive emissions from individual industrial facilities.

GHGSat will be supported by ENVIRON for this project. ENVIRON has extensive experience in air quality modelling, combined assessment of modelling and monitoring, and application of satellite data for air quality modelling across North America, Europe and Asia.

This project is an important step in commercializing GHGSat’s services to oil & gas customers worldwide. GHGSat is also using its demonstration satellite to demonstrate its services to industrial and government customers for other sectors including power generation, mining and waste management.

This project is funded in part by LOOKNorth’s Technology Validation Program.

The GHGSat team includes members from the University of Waterloo, MPB Communications Inc, the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory and Xiphos Systems Corporation. GHGSat is also supported by Sustainable Development Technology Canada and The Boeing Company.