Canadian carbon project aims to prove 'clean coal' works

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:26am EST
 
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* Boundary Dam power plant to trap carbon from 2014

* First commercial-scale CCS project at a coal-fired plant

* SaskPower seeks to limit power output loss to 25 pct

By Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle

OSLO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - A technology that holds the hope for cleaner use of coal will be tested on a commercial scale for the first time in Canada next year, aiming to resolve big uncertainties about the vast amount of power it will need.

Saskatchewan Power Corp. (SaskPower) hopes that a $1.24 billion refit of its 45-year-old Boundary Dam power plant to capture carbon dioxide emissions will make investors think twice about shifting to gas-fired plants from dirtier coal.

"This will come in on time and on budget," Michael Monea, head of SaskPower's carbon capture and storage (CCS) initiatives, told Reuters in an interview.

The company hopes that its carbon capture technology will reduce Boundary Dam's power output by only a quarter or thereabouts, making it the world's first commercially viable large-scale CCS project at a coal-fired power plant.

Success could spur interest in CCS technology from China to the United States as an effective way to fight climate change.   Continued...