Boundary Dam Power Station hits target of capturing 800,000 tonnes of CO2 in one year

  • 1 Nov 2016
  • Saskatoon StarPhoenix
  • BRUCE JOHNSTONE 

Boundary Dam Power Station hits target of capturing 800,000 tonnes of CO2 in one year

 

Two years after its official launch in October 2014, SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan has achieved its target of capturing 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in one year, the Crown corporation announced Monday.

The $1.5-billion CCS project got off to a rocky start, dogged by cost overruns, equipment failures and performance penalties during its first year of operation. But SaskPower says 2016 has been a successful year for the CCS facility, operating 85 per cent of the time overall. During six of the last 12 months, the facility was online 100 per cent of the time, the corporation said in a news release.

“With this investment in technology, we’ve eliminated emissions equal to taking 200,000 cars off our roads in the last 12 months,” says Mike Marsh, president and CEO of SaskPower.

Power produced at the CCS unit is competitive with other sources and it is powering more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Saskatchewan, the release added.

Howard Matthews, vice-president of power production for SaskPower, said while the nameplate capacity of the CCS plant remains one million tonnes of CO2 per year, SaskPower set an operational target of 800,000 tonnes per year for 2016.

“We set an internal target to hit 800,000 tonnes, which is a substantial improvement over last year’s capture of about 426,000 tonnes,’’ Matthews said. “We had a significant outage last year from September to October to correct some deficiencies. We came back online in early November, so this (800,000 tonnes) is for the 12 continuous months since we came back online.’’

Matthews is confident that CCS plant can achieve a similar result for the 2016 calendar year, even with a regularly scheduled maintenance shutdown in November. “We’re still on track for 800,000 tonnes for this calendar year. We had a 100 per cent (capacity) run in September and … October’s looking to be a pretty good month as well.”

But that doesn’t mean that all of the CCS’s plant operational issues are behind it. Matthews said the corporation is still working to extend the lifespan of the amine solvent, which used to capture the CO2.

“We still have some challenges with the amine (solvent), but we continue to work with the supplier, Cansolv.”

Similarly, heat exchangers used in the carbon capture process need backups, although the plant continues to meet or exceed federal emissions regulations. “We’re actually capturing more CO2 than required by the regulations,” Matthews said. And the plant is meeting its contractual obligations to Cenovus Energy, which is injecting the compressed CO2 into its enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project at Weyburn.

The past two years has shown that CCS technology works and that it can work reliably and consistently; now SaskPower is working to improve the efficiency of the CCS plant, he said.

“Last year, the facility was shown to be capable of capturing that nameplate (one-million-tonne capacity). This year the goal was reliable and steady operation of the facility. Going forward, we need to be able to maximize the efficiency of the facility.’’

 

 

 

About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on November 1, 2016, in economic impact, other minerals, political. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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