July 10, 2018 Read More →

SaskPower: No more carbon capture projects at Boundary Dam

Financial Post:

SaskPower says there will be no further retrofits to allow for carbon capture and storage at a dam site in southeastern Saskatchewan.

The technology was introduced with much fanfare for $1.5 billion at the Boundary Dam power plant near Estevan in October 2014. The goal was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the coal-fired plant by one million tonnes annually.

Dustin Duncan, minister responsible for Crown-owned SaskPower, says several factors led to the decision not to upgrade Units 4 and 5 at the Estevan plant for what is commonly called CCS. Duncan says one reason is that the units are reaching their federally mandated shutdown and it doesn’t make sense to invest a lot of money in them when natural gas is a cheaper option.

“Low natural gas prices are a significant factor in this decision,” Duncan said as SaskPower held its annual meeting Monday. “Certainly the outlook for the coming decades is pretty indicative that natural gas prices will likely remain low.”

SaskPower had to pay $7.3 million in penalties to Cenovus Energy in 2015 because the Estevan plant wasn’t operating enough to deliver all the captured carbon dioxide promised to Cenovus to use in enhanced oil recovery. The Boundary Dam was forced offline several times that year due to technical and mechanical issues.

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