Boundary Dam Power Station
|Boundary Dam Power Station|
|Location||Estevan No. 5, near Estevan, Saskatchewan|
|Primary fuel||Coal (lignite)|
|Nameplate capacity||813 megawatts|
The Boundary Dam Power Station consists of: two 62 net MW units (commissioned in 1959), two 139 net MW units (commissioned in 1970); one of which — Unit 3 — was decommissioned and replaced with a new 160 MW unit in 2013, one 139 net MW unit (commissioned in 1973) and one 273 net MW unit (commissioned in 1978).
The boilers are supplied by Babcock and Wilcox and Combustion Engineering while the turbines/generator are supplied by General Electric and Hitatchi. There is also Boundary Dam (constructed in 1957) located next to the station. It is an earth fill dam, which created the Boundary Reservoir on Long Creek a few kilometres west of the river's mouth on the Souris River. The station uses water from the reservoir for coolant, which is why Boundary Reservoir is the only body of water in Saskatchewan that doesn't freeze over during the winter months and why it's also the only body of water in Saskatchewan that supports largemouth bass. The lake's fish species include walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, burbot, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and white sucker.
Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project
The Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration is a project to retrofit the lignite-fired Unit #3 with carbon capture and an enhanced oil recovery system. It consists of two distinct parts: Repowering of the existing Unit #3 and the installation of the Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide and NOx capture facility. Its primary purpose is to provide a low-cost source of carbon dioxide, to the mature Weyburn Oil Field, for Enhanced Oil Recovery. It is expected to result in a 90 percent (1 million tonnes/year) reduction in CO2 emissions and will also reduce the output of Unit 3 from 139 MW to 110 MW. It was officially opened in October 2014, and is the world's first commercial-scale, lignite-fired power plant equipped with carbon capture and storage technology and was officially opened in October 2014.
In February 2008 the Saskatchewan government announced that it would proceed with a 7-year reconstruction and repowering of Boundary Dam's Unit 3. The initial project cost was $C 1.24 billion out of which $C 240-million was from the federal government. Budget over-runs have led to the plant having a total cost of some $C 1.4 billion.
Other than the generation of electricity, the plant will have several by-products which will generate revenue.
Most of the total annual carbon dioxide capture volume, at least for the first ten years of the project, is being sold to Alberta-based Cenovus Energy, the operator of the Weyburn Oil Field. SaskPower has not publicly disclosed the sale price but Minister Boyd has stated that it is "in the range of" $25 per tonne. Annual revenue from carbon dioxide sales is thus estimated at $25 million. Cenovus Energy will use the carbon dioxide mainly for field injection work to increase crude oil production.
Most of the sulphur emissions from the power station (predominantly sulphur dioxide) will be captured, converted to sulphuric acid and sold. SaskPower sulphur dioxide emissions are approximately 5 tonnes per gigawatt hour of system generation. Given annual electricity generation of 1,010 gigawatt hours, it follows that total annual sulphur capture will be 5,050 tonnes.
Fly ash, also known as flue ash, is one of the residues generated following the combustion of coal and lignite. In the past it was simply released into the atmosphere through the smoke stack but pollution control requirements have put an end to that practice. It is now captured by electrostatic precipitators and stored at the point of generation, placed in landfills or recycled - where it will typically replace Portland Cement in concrete production. Typical fly ash recovery rates, for Saskatchewan lignite-fired power stations, are 31 kilograms per megawatt hour. Fly ash, depending on its use, can attract a range of prices. The best arises from concrete-quality ash which fetches $22–$49 per tonne.
There appear to be two main expense items: Operations and maintenance, and parasitic load. In the latter, carbon and sulphur dioxide amine-based capture units, such as the one at Boundary Dam, consume significant amounts of electricity and heat in operation and the largest single component is associated with solvent regeneration. Significant electrical load is also used to run additional emission control components (e.g. NOx and Mercury capture) as well as associated pumps and other equipment.
Concerns appear to fall into three main areas: Negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, in part due to the pioneering nature of the project; the existence of cheaper alternatives, such as wind turbines; and the potential for substantial losses for initial investors (Saskatchewan taxpayers and SaskPower ratepayers).
- Plant Description
- "Alberici to install turbine for SaskPower carbon capture facility."Electric Light & Power. 1 September 2013
- Coal Fired Power Plants in Canada - Power Plants Around the World
- Snook, M., "Saskatchewan's Best Fishing Hot Spots", Western Sportsman. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Boundary Dam Power Station". Environment Canada - Detailed Facility Information.
- "Hanley: Questions remain over SaskPower project." The Star Phoenix - 18-Nov-2014.
- Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project
- "Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Sequestration Demonstration Project" Global CCS Institute
- "SaskPower unveils world's first carbon capture coal plant". Shawn McCarthy. Globe and Mail. 2-Oct-2014
- "SaskPower launches world's first commercial CCS process." SaskPower News release. 2-Oct-2014
- "Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project". SaskPower Fact Sheet: 7211/Apr12
- "Saskatchewan Plans Clean Coal-Carbon Capture Project." 27-Feb-2008. Power Engineering
- "Jim Prentice says to wind down carbon capture fund in Alberta, new projects 'on hold'". Geoffrey Morgan - Financial Post. 6-Oct-2014.
- "SaskPower Boundary Dam Project" Carbon Capture Journal. July–August 2010
- "Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project." SaskPower fact sheet. 7211/Apr12.
- "SaskPower signs 10-year deal with Cenovus" Bruce Johnstone Leader-Post. 20-Dec-2012
- "Increasing oil production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions." 'Weyburn Project Overview' - Cenovus Energy fact sheet
- ". Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan - Debates and Proceedings. Page 5836. Minister Bill Boyd response to question from MLA Cathy Sproule". Hansard 13-Nov-2014
- "SaskPower Boundary Dam Project" Carbon Capture Journal. July–August 2010
- SaskPower Sustainability Report 2011. (no longer available on SaskPower site)
- Reference withheld at author request.
- "How Much are Coal Combustion Products Worth?" The American Coal Ash Association Website.
- "Cansolv CO2 Capture: The Value of Integration" Devin Shaw. Cansolv Technologies Inc. Oct-2008. Shell website
- "Nice try, shame about the price." The Economist. 3-Oct-2014
- "Carbon Capture Faces Viability Struggle." Pilita Clark. Financial Times. 23-Nov-14.
- "A coal plant that buries its greenhouse gases". Peter Fairley: MIT Technology Review. Dec-2014.
- "Corralling Carbon Before It Belches From the Stack".Henry Fountain: The New York Times. 21-Jul-2014.
- "Carbon Capture faces viability struggle." Pilita Clark. Financial Times. 23-Nov-2014
- "Push for CCS misguided policy." Letters - James Glennie. The Star Phoenix. 28-Mar-2014.
- "CO2 project sequesters tax dollars". Murray Mandryk. The Leader Post: 7-Oct-2014