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First CO2 from Boundary Dam to be captured in October

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ZERO's political adviser Camilla Svendsen Skriung shares her impressions from a visit to the Boundary Dam project in Canada.

Nina Sjurseike (Shell), Marius Gjerset (ZERO) and Mike Zeleny (SaskPower)

-Massive and impressive construction is the impression after having visited the CCS facility at SaskPowers coal power plant Boundary Dam.

A delegation of Norwegians is on a «school trip» in Canada to study and be inspired by the projects and regions who is able to build full scale CO2 capture and storage projects faster and cheaper than most, it seems. On the trip are Norwegian authorities, industrial representatives and NGOs.  One thing we have in common is the common wish to push forward CCS as one of several solutions to fight the climate changes. And to bring home the learning’s of Canada to Norway.

ZERO has for a long time been interested in what drives those till now, too few large coal power companies or industries to, not only plan to mitigate their own emissions, but do it with such force. Is it masochism, the act of saints, or simply the fact that it is good business?On Monday the group visited the Boundary Dam CCS project which ZERO has been working alongside for some time.

SaskPower proves that it is possible to act on good will and making a profit at the same time.
It was quite astonishing to see that the developer, SaskPower, is almost finished with the construction of the CO2 capture plant. The SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Integrated and Carbon Capture Storage Demonstration Project – the world’s first commercial-scale coal-fired carbon capture and storage project.

The delegation was allowed to see the inside of the CCS facility and the” wow-factor” was high. Massive steel and concrete elements has been “put in the ground” by a skilled and persistent working force and team

Zeleny gave a good example: -The workers stacked tiles, at a foot a day, in the first construction phase. That was all they did. Careful, neatly work to get the fundaments of the absorber in place. Day in and day out, regardless of the weather. They could make perfect bathroom tiles for anyone now, he laughed.

-The CO2 stripper, was the biggest thing ever moved in one piece on truck across Saskatchewan roadsystem, Devin Shaw (Cansolv) told the group. It took a whole day, and good planning to move it and get in place.

Full-scale treatment plant at Mongstad full scale CCS project (CCM), including a transport and storage solution was said to be the government’s moon landing. The project was in 2011 estimated to cost 20-25 billion NOK, 4-5 times cost estimate from Statoil in 2006. Moreover, it is 4-5 times as expensive as the Boundary Dam. CCM project is now six years delayed compared with the original schedule.

The investment decision for the Boundary Dam CCS project was made in 2011, and already in October this year, they start on the initial test phase.

The story behind SaskPower’s initiative is one of personal engagement and the will to get things moving. Leaders of innovation must also be risk takers, and as Zeleny said:
-We will deliver to get CCS up and running. There is no other option than to go through with this. We will make sure that we mitigate 1 milion tonnes of CO2 a year.



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