Boundary Dam project proves viability of CCS: WCA

SASKPOWER’S Boundary Dam carbon capture and storage project in Canada – the world’s first and largest commercial-scale, coal-fired CCS project – sees the integration of a rebuilt coal-fired generation unit with carbon capture technology, resulting in low-emission power generation.
Boundary Dam project proves viability of CCS: WCA Boundary Dam project proves viability of CCS: WCA Boundary Dam project proves viability of CCS: WCA Boundary Dam project proves viability of CCS: WCA Boundary Dam project proves viability of CCS: WCA

Canada's Boundary Dam power plant with full CCS.

Lou Caruana

World Coal Association CEO Milton Catelin said the launch of the Boundary Dam project proved that CCS was not just a pipe dream.

“The plant’s operators are sharing their experiences to help drive future deployment of CCS and believe they can now achieve cost reductions in the next such project by as much as 30%,” he said.

“Boundary Dam will be essential in providing a better understanding of the true costs and the full possibilities of CCS.”

The project transforms the ageing unit 3 at the Boundary Dam power station into a reliable, long-term producer of 110 megawatts of baseload electricity and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to taking more than 250,000 cars off Saskatchewan roads annually.

Its goals are to demonstrate the economic, technical and environmental feasibility for coal-fired power generation with CCS, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the development of industry-wide CCS regulations and policies.

Reiterating the need for increased government investment and support for CCS, Catelin said: “If we are to maintain economic growth and reduce greenhouse emissions then government support for CCS needs to be equivalent to government support for renewables and other low carbon technologies.

“Currently CCS – which will eventually be needed on all gas and coal power plants – receives less than a 40th of the support governments provide renewables.

“Similarly, governments and the power generation industry need to do more to improve the efficiency of power plants with off-the-shelf technology, which can lead to a 2-gigatonne reduction in CO2 emissions and be a vital step to the future deployment of CCS technology.

“Boundary Dam is a world first and SaskPower and Saskatchewan should be applauded for it. But replicating this first-of-a-kind plant will need government support and investment.

“All fossil fuels will need CCS – including natural gas. But at this stage what we need is wider deployment of existing technologies, which can make a huge difference to emissions – and are often a critical first-step towards CCS – alongside government support for all low emission technologies.”