All eyes are on Sask. carbon capture launch

By Kevin Martel
September 30, 2014 - 4:27pm Updated: September 30, 2014 - 10:18pm
Photo courtesy Jeff Sandquist via Flickr
Photo courtesy Jeff Sandquist via Flickr

Delegates from around the world are gathering in Saskatchewan, anxious to get a look at the world's first-ever $1.4 billion carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam near Estevan.

“SaskPower and the Province of Saskatchewan is a leader, we are the leader in the world so they want to know it works,” explained SaskPower CEO Robert Watson on Tuesday. The crown corporation is hosting a symposium Tuesday and Wednesday at Hotel Saskatchewan with about 130 delegates from roughly 20 countries including China, Japan and Turkey.

On Thursday, the facility will be officially launched.

“There’s massive interest,” said Australia’s Brad Page, CEO of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. “Everybody’s very, very impressed with what’s been achieved by SaskPower and in Saskatchewan.”

“This is the beginning of a bit of a tidal wave of CCS power projects.”

The facility will capture carbon dioxide created from burning coal. That carbon will then be stored safely deep underground. The aim is to avert the gas from the atmosphere, thus having a positive effect on climate change.

“The whole world is really watching Boundary Dam because it is the first of its kind,” echoed John Gale with the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme based in the United Kingdom.

“If we’re going to make the two degrees Centigrade target, then we need projects like Boundary Dam, we need CO2 capture and storage. We’re not going to get there without.”

Gale said you can use solar and wind sources to help reduce greenhouse gases but it’s good to have a diverse toolbox so-to-speak to get emissions down to a level that will stop severe climate change from occurring.

Similar carbon capture facilities are currently under construction in the United States, and planned in both the United Kingdom and China.

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