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CCS performance data exceeding expectations at world-first Boundary Dam Power Station Unit #3

February 11, 2015

Today, SaskPower released preliminary performance numbers for the operation of Unit #3 at Boundary Dam Power Station, the world’s first coal-fired commercial power plant equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Named one of National Geographic magazine’s 10 Energy Breakthroughs of 2014 That Could Change Your Life , the plant now has over 130 days of commercial operating experience logged, and has exceeded the expectations of those responsible for bringing the project to life.

“The project is generating vast amounts of data never before available to scientists and engineers around the world, and the numbers are very impressive,” said Mike Monea, SaskPower President of Carbon Capture and Storage Initiatives. “People used to say there’s no proof that CCS works, a claim that is no longer valid,” Monea added.

“Unit #3 is now producing affordable coal power for more than 100,000 homes and businesses for at least the next three decades, and it’s doing so 10 times more cleanly than other coal units and four times cleaner than a comparable natural gas unit,” said Monea.

CCS technology is one of the ways SaskPower provides electricity to a growing Saskatchewan as demand continues to rise year over year.

“By having the courage to move forward on this project, we’ve highlighted Estevan as a destination to come look and learn from our cutting-edge technologies,” said Mayor of Estevan Roy Ludwig. “SaskPower is a key economic driver in Estevan. This project breathes new life into Boundary Dam Power Station, meaning many years of employment for residents of the area.”

Final costs for the plant continue to be tallied. SaskPower’s total investment for the BD3 carbon capture and storage project sits at $1.23 billion. The federal government contributed a further $240 million towards the project, for a total of $1.467 billion. Approximately 135,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) have been captured since the plant officially launched on Oct. 2, 2014. The plant has the capacity to capture up to one million tonnes of CO 2 in 2015 and is on target to meet that goal.

To take a virtual tour of the CCS plant, visit

Sample preliminary operational data from Boundary Dam Unit #3:

Performance Metric Expected (pre-launch) Actual (post-launch)
Power generation output 110 megawatts (MW) 120 MW
Purity of CO 2 95.5% 99.99% purity
CO2 capture/year (at full capacity) 1 million tonnes 1 million tonnes (on target)
CO2 emissions/year (approximate) 1.1 million tonnes (before launch) 100,000 tonnes approx. (after CCS)