The Estevan Chamber of Commerce is reacting to the recent news that SaskPower may not be recommending the expansion of the Carbon capture and storage technology in the remaining units at Boundary Dam and across the province. The Chamber has been an open advocate for CCS technology and this was shown earlier this year when they hosted a Carbon Capture Summit with industry experts and dignitaries from across the country in attendance.
"The Estevan Chamber really did take a proactive approach earlier this year," explained Estevan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Jackie Wall. "We wanted to make sure that CCS technology was getting the recognition that it deserves. And we wanted to have an open dialogue and a presentation from SaskPower."
"SaskPower was absolutely phenomenal to work with during the Carbon Capture Summit but there were a few things that did ring through loud and clear during that summit. And one was that SaskPower seems to be focusing on natural gas and green energy of course through solar, wind, and geothermal technology. They are also continually working on the business case for CCS. And that has been their concern for many, many months now. And part of that also hinges on waiting on federal legislation to came down. Ottawa has not done anything yet regarding the backstop. They haven't put anything into legislation so I think SaskPower is also waiting on that."
SaskPower has also shared that no decisions have been made.
"Environment Minister, Dustin Duncan was also quoted in the StarPhoenix saying that, "due diligence hasn't been completed." And that it's "premature for him to rule out future projects." So it still is up in the air."
"There are a lot options and I think they are continually looking at the different business case scenarios. We have had a couple discussions with Mike Marsh in that regard and I know they say that they have not made any decisions. Those will be coming the first quarter, we have been told, of 2018."
Wall also shared that they are in close contact with SaskPower.
"We have had personal conversations with Mike Marsh at some of the Chamber events that have happened in Regina. And we have let him know of our concerns and our support for CCS technology. And we've really encouraged them to take into account the impact of not only the CCS technology for our province, for the technology for the world in general, but also for our community specifically. We really encourage him to take a look at that and how it really supports Estevan and how Estevan has really supported the technology as well."
For now, the Chamber will be keeping a close eye on any developments with carbon capture technology.
"We will be watching the carbon capture and anything related to SaskPower very, very closely and the Chamber has taken a proactive approach because we saw what federal legislation could potentially mean for CCS and we wanted to make sure that we were vocal on supporting it through our Carbon Capture Summit in May."
"We are staying on top of this. We're making sure that we are on top of the media releases and that we have an open dialogue with Mike Marsh when we see him at events and we can contact him if we have other concerns."