The Canadian province of Saskatchewan on Tuesday approved construction of a C$1.24 billion project that will integrate and demonstrate carbon capture and storage (CCS) at an aging Boundary Dam Power Station unit near Estevan.
Construction of the new 110-MW unit will begin immediately, and it is slated to begin operations in 2014. In addition to capturing carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery operations, the Boundary Dam project will also capture sulfur dioxide to be used in the production of sulfuric acid.
The Boundary Dam Power Station is SaskPower’s largest generating facility, with six units and a combined generating capacity of 824 MW. The company’s three coal-fired power plants account for approximately 50% of its generating capacity of 3,513 MW.
The Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project is part of a capital program that will see billions of dollars invested in owner SaskPower’s power production and transmission and distribution systems over the next decade. The federal government has contributed C$240 million to assist in development of the project.
According to Rob Norris, the minister responsible for SaskPower, the project will help the province develop CCS, which would ensure Saskatchewan’s continued use of coal as an energy source.
"This project will forge an environmentally sustainable path for the production of coal-fired electricity in Saskatchewan," Norris said. "By proceeding with the carbon capture project at Boundary Dam, while continuing to add wind power and investigating other renewable energy options such as biomass, SaskPower is helping to build a greener future for Saskatchewan."
SaskPower has chosen engineering and construction firm SNC Lavalin to oversee detailed engineering, procurement, and construction activities at the Boundary Dam project. Cansolv, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell Global Solutions, will supply the carbon capture process. Hitachi will supply a steam turbine, which the Saskatchewan government claims will be “the first in the world designed to fully integrate a coal-fired power plant with carbon capture technology.”
Sources: POWERnews, Government of Saskatchewan