SaskPower Boundary Dam Carbon Capture Project

In the fall of 2014, Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan, Saskatchewan, became the first generating station in the world to successfully use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology on one of its full-scale units. The facility can capture up to
1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year while simultaneously removing sulfur and other pollutants. The captured CO2 either goes to oil fields for enhanced oil recovery or is injected into a 3400-m-deep sandstone formation through the Petroleum Technology Research Centre’s Aquistore Project. In both cases, the CO2 is permanently stored deep underground.

Boundary Dam coal-based electric generation facility.

The Boundary Dam Power Station has four electricity generation units. Boundary Dam’s Carbon Capture Plant processes the flue gas from Unit 3 (BD 3). This first-of-its-kind carbon capture plant has shown the technical feasibility of CCS technology as well as having documented its costs and challenges. At the same time, the power unit, BD 3, is producing 115 MW of electricity with a reduced carbon footprint—enough to power 100,000 homes in the province.

Boundary Dam commercial-scale CO2 capture unit.

Project Benefits

  • A pathway toward economically and environmentally sustainable power generation.
  • One million tonnes per year of greenhouse gas emission reductions from an existing power station.
  • A domestic, integrated, commercial-scale carbon capture, utilization, and storage project—the first and largest of its kind in the world.
  • A means to keep coal in the electricity supply mix, thus utilizing an existing supply of reliable, low-cost fuel.
  • The reuse of existing fuel supplies and structures within the footprint of an operating industrial site.
  • A demonstration project for the development of sound regulation and policies.

SaskPower led the development of the world’s first carbon capture facility retrofit to an existing generating unit. The facility was designed and constructed as the Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project, a $1.24 billion government–industry partnership between the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan, SaskPower, and private industry.