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Strong Results in March for Boundary Dam

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The carbon capture process at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station performed as expected in March, according to information supplied by SaskPower on Wednesday.

The plant was operational for every hour of the month, exceeding their reliability target of 85 per cent. March marked the second time in three months that the plant has been operating throughout the month.

It has also been operational 82 of the first 91 days of the year. It was offline for nine days in February for a planned maintenance.

In 2015, it was online for only 56 per cent of the time, and it was never online for every day in a month.

For the first quarter of 2016, the overall reliability factor was 90 per cent.

A total of 83,497 tonnes of carbon dioxide were captured in March, and a combined 217,000 tonnes have been captured so far this year. The process is well on its way to meeting its 2016 target of 800,000 tonnes.

The 2015 average was 35,153 tonnes of carbon dioxide captured per month.

SaskPower also reported the plant captured approximately 83 per cent of its maximum capacity in March, which surpassed the target of 65 per cent.

The daily average of CO2 captured by Unit 3 reached 2,835 tonnes in March. The monthly average for last year was 1,739 tonnes.

A total of 757,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide have been captured at Boundary Dam since the operational start-up in the fall of 2014.

On the power production side, Boundary Dam Unit 3, along with several other coal units, continues to experience slagging issues, meaning the high ash and mineral content in the coal used caused buildup in the boilers.

This has marginally affected the number of megawatts Unit 3 could produce, but has not had a significant impact on the carbon capture process.

The unit averaged 105 megawatts of power produced last month, which was slightly below the 2015 average of 107 megawatts. It reached a peak of more than 120 megawatts of power in June of last year.

The slagging issue was corrected in early April without bringing the unit offline.

SaskPower expects the carbon capture process will continue to be operated at a level that meets emission regulations and their CO2 sales obligations. (Estevan Mercury)

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