BD3 Status Update: November 2015
December 7, 2015
We’ve completed our scheduled maintenance on the process. This was an opportunity to replace certain parts that had technical or mechanical issues.
This maintenance involved five main components:
- The regularly scheduled four-week outage for unit three (that every other power unit also undergoes);
- The replacement of the large containment vessel that holds the main chemical solution used by the process. The old vessel had seepage problems;
- Mechanical fixes related to a variety of system components (required to achieve full capture capacity);
- Relocating various vents for safety reasons; and
- The cleaning of various components.
Due to shipping delays and new issues that arose as the outage progressed, the maintenance period was extended by two weeks. We started to bring the carbon capture process back online on Nov. 2 and were capturing carbon dioxide by Nov 5. During Nov. 14-16, we successfully tested the nameplate (maximum) capacity of the process, capturing approximately 3,240 tonnes per day of carbon dioxide or 90% of the daily CO2 produced by the power unit.
We have now brought daily production down to a level that meets federal emission regulations and our commitment to our CO2 offtaker. Our target is to operate for 85% of the hours in the year, leaving room for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. We expect to capture about 800,000 tonnes in 2016. We captured more than 60,000 tonnes in November, representing our best month to date.
Our next step for the immediate months to come is to operate consistently at present levels. We will also complete the commissioning of the acid plant on site. The sulphur dioxide we’re also capturing will then be processed into sulphuric acid and sold for industrial uses. This was delayed due to higher priority maintenance needs at the plant, as described above. We also schedule regular maintenance outages for the facility every six to ten weeks to deal with the need to clean certain areas of the facility. These outages will last approximately five or six days: approximately two days to cool down the equipment, two days to perform testing and maintenance, and two more days to power everything back up. The first such outage will occur between mid-December to mid-January.