Things are running smoothly at the Carbon Capture and Storage Facility at Boundary Dam near Estevan.
"January was a fairly decent month for us," shared Howard Matthews, the Vice President of Power Production with SaskPower. "We had 100% run time all through January through cold weather and even the few times we had some warmer breaks."
He added that the CCS Unit captured a little over 81,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide during January and safety put it in the ground either through their off-taker or through the their aquistore well.
Because of this strong start, it is creating some optimism for the CCS facility.
"I think what we're seeing, certainly at this point, is some of the payoff from some of the improvements we made. If you go back to June, we did some capital upgrades, put in some redundant equipment. These were things that will allow us to run more reliably."
"And I think that's what we're seeing, the pay off of extra experience under our belts. We keep learning and some of the extra advances that we're made over the past while has led to some good improvements."
He added that the challenges aren't over yet.
"We are still seeing challenges on the chemistry side. And that's where we have Cansolv in our CCTF facility in Shand working with us trying to find solutions to some of the chemistry issues. Some of the improvements that we've made to the plant allow us to work around some of those issues on the chemistry side and keep the production and reliability to be pretty decent on CCS over at Boundary Dam."
However, the success of January is something to take pride in.
"I think we continue to be a world leader on carbon capture technology. Really, SaskPower was a world leader in this. We're the first full scale integrated system here and we continue to demonstrate not just to Canada, but to all the world that carbon capture technology has a place in the future low carbon environment around secure energy supply and also to do it in in an environmentally responsible, sustainable fashion going forward."
He adds that the with no scheduled maintenance shut down planned for some time, they are expecting good steady production from here on out.
"We'll see how the final numbers come in for February. We're coming up to the mid point of the month and so far fairly decent shape here."
"Credit to SaskPower and certainly all the folks in the Estevan area to be that world leader to show people there is alternate pathways forward. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the folks in Estevan, the SaskPower employees, the contractors that work with us, and even just the people in Estevan in general for being so supportive of this and going the extra mile to help this be such a success."