Up to $20-million profit forecasted for carbon-capture plant
- 15 Jul 2016
- Calgary Herald
- JENNIFER GRAHAM
- The Canadian Press
Carbon-capture plant expects prosperous, penalty-free future
The head of SaskPower says the corporation expects revenue of $15 million to $20 million a year from its carbon-capture plant if it keeps operating well.
SaskPower paid $7.3 million in penalties to Cenovus Energy last year because the plant wasn’t operating enough to deliver all the captured carbon dioxide promised to Cenovus.
“In 2015, there were … shortfall payments made to Cenovus because of our inability to meet the contractual amount,” SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh said Thursday while releasing the utility’s annual financial report.
“We still earned revenue in 2015 … and the revenues more than offset the shortfall payments.”
Marsh says SaskPower made $15.1 million in revenue from CO2 sales in 2015-16.
The report notes that the carbon-capture facility, located at the Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Estevan, “faced technical and mechanical issues due to design and construction deficiencies, which prevented the plant from achieving an acceptable level of reliability and performance.”
It was forced off-line several times in 2015, including for nearly all of September and October.
However, Marsh said the facility is “operating well” and on track to capture 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide this year.
“And we don’t expect to be paying any shortfall penalties as long as the plant continues to operate,” he said.
Saskatchewan relies heavily on coal for power. Forty-six per cent of the province’s fuel came from coal in 2015.
SaskPower announced plans last November to have up to 50 per cent of power come from renewable sources by 2030.
A proposed wind farm near Chaplin, about 200 kilometres west of Regina, is not part of that 50 per cent target. The private company looking to build the facility is being told by the Ministry of Environment to find another location.
The proposed site was near a migratory bird route and sanctuary.
It was announced Thursday that SaskPower will build and operate a new natural gas power generation facility in Swift Current.