It's good news for future carbon capture and storage facilities coming out of a report on Wednesday from the International CCS Knowledge Centre. The capital cost of building a CCS facility has been decreased by 67%. 

"This is a public report based on a study we did on the Shand facility looking at adding CCS to it," explained Corwyn Bruce, Head of Technical Service at the International CCS Knowledge Centre in Regina and head writer of the report. "We did that study in cooperation with Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI), SaskPower, and the Internation CCS Knowledge Centre."

The Knowledge Centre is a not for profit organization mandated to accelerate the deployment of CCS.

"We include a public report so we can inform people around the world about the stuff that we found when we looked at what we would consider to be a second generation CCS implementation."

"It's a 67% in the capital costs on a per tonne CO2 basis. The facility that we have looked at Shand would be able to capture 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year. In essence, it's twice the size of Boundary Dam 3."

And while there are no plans to build a facility at Shand, according to the report, the capital cost would be $986 million.

"One of the major barriers to deploying CCS throughout the world, not just in Estevan has been the barrier of very high capital costs for building the facility. Through the stuff that was learned through the Boundary Dam 3 project, through building a bigger plant, and through some of the other innovations that were brought to this, that capital costs has now been reduced by 67%."

The study also stated that a CCS facility at Shand should see 92% in savings to the power plant integration capital cost. 

The full technical report can be found at the International CCS Knowledge Centre website

Other key outcomes of the Shand CCS Feasibility Study included:

A design that ensures improved responsiveness to fluctuating customer demand for power, which is increasingly necessary in power systems that exhibit increasing levels of variable renewable energy such as wind and solar;
A design that minimizes water requirements; and
A meaningful reduction in process complexity, allowing efficiency gains to be maximized."

The study also found that, "the Shand CCS system would be designed without the requirement of additional water, mitigating a key constraint for thermal plant operation retrofits and expansions. At this site, up to 140,000 tonnes per year of fly ash would be saleable to the concrete market (subject to demand), which could offset emissions in concrete production. This equates to a potential net reduction of 125,000 tonnes of CO2 each year resulting in a facility with net-negative CO2 emissions. The Shand CCS project design capacity is nominally 2 million tonnes of CO2 captured per year – twice the initial design capacity of BD3 (this economy of scale reduces costs)."

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