SaskPower, Hitachi plans CO2 capture test facility at Shand plant

Canadian provincial power producer SaskPower said March 20 that it and Hitachi Ltd. are partnering to construct a C$60m carbon capture test facility (CCTF) at SaskPower’s Shand coal plant in southeastern Saskatchewan.

The CCTF will allow international developers to fully evaluate performance of their systems to capture CO2 from coal-fired power plants.

“This announcement is a double win for the province,” said Rob Norris, provincial minister responsible for SaskPower. “Providing a testing facility for these advanced technologies means Saskatchewan will remain a world leader when it comes to carbon capture, and also supports Hitachi’s substantial manufacturing capacity right here in Saskatchewan.”

“Joining with Hitachi on the CCTF continues a long-standing partnership that dates back to the 1970s. This project is critical because it will help ensure that low-emission coal-fired generation remains an integral part of SaskPower’s system for years to come,” said Robert Watson, President and CEO of SaskPower.

SaskPower and Hitachi will each contribute approximately C$30m to the CCTF, with SaskPower acting as owner/operator. Construction will begin in late 2012 or early 2013, with a scheduled completion date of summer 2014. Hitachi will supply their skilled process development team, as well as core process equipment from their Saskatoon manufacturing facility.

Hitachi’s proprietary amine system will be the first technology tested at the CCTF. SaskPower said it expects to evaluate a number of current and emerging carbon capture technologies over the life of the facility. The CCTF has been built to accommodate a wide range of test configurations, ensuring it remains a viable facility for many years.

The Shand plant is located near Estevan, Saskatchewan. It has one unit with a generating capacity of 276 MW (net) that was commissioned in 1992, said the SaskPower website.

In addition to the CCTF, SaskPower will be among the first electric utilities in the world to operate a commercial-scale power plant with a fully-integrated carbon capture and storage operating system. The C$1.24bn project to rebuild a coal-fired unit at the Boundary Dam plant and equip it with a fully-integrated carbon capture system will allow for the generation of low-emission electricity and the capture of CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery.

The Boundary Dam project will transform Unit 3 at Boundary Dam into a reliable, long-term producer of 100 MW of clean baseload electricity, while enhancing provincial oil production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by capturing 1 million tonnes of CO2 per year, said the SaskPower website.

SaskPower operates three coal-fired power stations, seven hydroelectric stations, six natural gas stations and two wind facilities with an aggregate generating capacity of 3,513 MW.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.