Shand CCS test facility progresses

Boundary Dam Photo: Joanna Ciesielska

Located at the SaskPower Shand Power Station near Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, the Shand Carbon Capture Test Facility (CCTF) is designed to provide evaluation of collection efficiency, long-term stability, operability, maintainability and reliability of amine-based, post-combustion technologies. The €42 million ($64m) facility is nearing completion. Shand will also provide a venue for the testing and qualification of various combinations of amines and other CO2 capture chemicals.

The desorber and absorber are in place, and the project is moving ahead within budget. SaskPower and Hitachi are sharing the construction and commissioning costs 50:50. Hitachi will conduct initial demonstrations. A SaskPower technical team is also being established. Construction is on schedule for completion in mid-2014. Meanwhile, CCS at the Boundary Dam coal fired power plant is nearing completion and will be officially launching when the harsh Canadian winter releases its grip.

There has been worldwide interest from both countries and companies for the test facility. In addition to from world’s major  producer and consumer of coal, China, SaskPower has received visitors from India, Thailand, Britain, Norway, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates among others. Manufacturers, chemical industries and power producers are looking into the possibility of using the test facilities. Tests run at Shand will   provide additional information for potential future CCS developments at Boundary Dam and worldwide.

There is a strengthening market for CO2 in Saskatchewan, which is already incorporated into the Boundary Dam project through the sale of captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Oil production company Cenovus is set to take the CO2 for EOR at nearby oil fields.

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan is likely to continue to fuel its electricity supply through coal for decades to come. Exploration of other clean power solutions is ongoing, but geographical considerations are just one of many that need to be taken into account to find the best long-term sustainable solutions. In the meantime, the world’s first commercial CCS facility and others to come will ensure COemissions are lowered as much as possible.