First CCS plant starts work

31st October 2014


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Stephen Hawkins

The world's first large-scale power station equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has started operating in Canada.

The CCS retrofit of the 110MW SaskPower’s Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Saskatchewan will capture about one million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Some of the captured carbon will be injected into nearby oilfields to enhance oil recovery, with the remainder stored permanently deep underground.

The UK Carbon Capture and Storage Association said the SaskPower project had the potential to be a global game changer. “Boundary Dam combines post-combustion CCS with coal-fired power generation that will reduce carbon emissions by 90%, transforming one of the world’s most abundant and affordable sources of energy to one of the cleanest,” it said.

Maria van der Hoeven, executive director at the International Energy Agency (IEA), described the inauguration of Boundary Dam as “a momentous point” in the history of the development of CCS.

“CCS is the only known technology that will enable us to continue to use fossil fuels and also decarbonise the energy sector. As fossil fuel consumption is expected to continue for decades, deployment of CCS is essential,” she said.

IEA analysis has shown that, without significant deployment of CCS, more than two-thirds of current proven fossil-fuel reserves cannot be burned before 2050 if the increase in global temperatures is to be held below 2°C.Several CCS projects are under construction around the world and another large power station CCS project, in Kemper County, Mississippi, should begin operating early next year.


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