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CCS facility captured nearly 150,000 tonnes of CO2 in second quarter

More than 375,000 tonnes of CO2 captured so far this year.
Boundary Dam pic
CCS facility at Boundary Dam Power Station.

ESTEVAN - SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility was available 70 per cent of the time from April 1-June 30, capturing 148,938 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) during the three-month span.

The numbers were released by the Crown corporation on Thursday.

The CCS facility was offline for much of May for semi-annual routine maintenance and cleaning. Unplanned issues at Boundary Dam Unit 3 delayed the restart of the facility into June. The CCS facility cannot operate when Unit 3 is offline.

The 70 per cent online figure is lower than the 75 per cent target that SaskPower has for CCS. It is also the lowest figure since SaskPower began releasing the CCS facility's reliability on a quarterly rather than a monthly basis in mid-2022.

Unit 3 at Boundary Dam was available 70.5 per cent of the time in the second quarter, below its target of 80 per cent.

No further information was provided by SaskPower on exactly how long the CCS facility was offline for maintenance, and the cause of the unplanned issues for Unit 3. 

The acid plant was online 58.3 per cent of the time, below the target of 70 per cent. The plant has reached the 70 per cent threshold just twice in the past five quarters.

And 927 tonnes of sulphuric acid were produced, below the expected level of 1,200 tonnes.

While online, the CCS facility had a daily average capture rate of 2,365 tonnes, with a peak one-day capture of 2,790 tonnes. This resulted in an emissions intensity of 444 tonnes of CO2 per gigawatt hour, which is within the current federal carbon tax threshold of 549 tonnes of CO2 per gigawatt hour.

So far this year, 375,124 tonnes of CO2 have been captured through the CCS facility at Boundary Dam, and 5,376,837 tonnes of CO2 have been kept from entering the Earth's atmosphere since CCS went online in October 2014.