Canadian Carbon Project Aims to Prove ‘Clean Coal’ Works
From Financial Post
By Alister Doyle
A technology that holds the hope for cleaner use of coal will be tested on a commercial scale for the first time in Canada next year, aiming to resolve big uncertainties about the vast amount of power it will need.
Saskatchewan Power Corp. (SaskPower) hopes that a US$1.24-billion refit of its 45-year-old Boundary Dam power plant to capture carbon dioxide emissions will make investors think twice about shifting to gas-fired plants from dirtier coal.
“This will come in on time and on budget,” Michael Monea, head of SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) initiatives, told Reuters in an interview.
The company hopes that its carbon capture technology will reduce Boundary Dam’s power output by only a quarter or thereabouts, making it the world’s first commercially viable large-scale CCS project at a coal-fired power plant.
Success could spur interest in CCS technology from China to the United States as an effective way to fight climate change.
“We need this as an example of carbon capture and storage actually happening,” said Camilla Svendsen Skriung, of the Norwegian environmental group Zero.
The plant is designed to capture one million tonnes a year of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from April 2014. It will also trap the pollutant sulphur dioxide.
SaskPower agreed last month to sell the carbon dioxide it captures to Canadian oil company Cenovus Energy – when injected into an oil well, the gas raises the pressure and forces more oil to the surface. Monea did not reveal the price agreed.
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