BD3 CCS Facility

CCS Knowledge for the World

Brought online in 2014, SaskPower's Boundary Dam 3 Carbon Capture Facility (BD3)  became the World's First Post-Combustion Coal-Fired CCS Project integrated with a power station.

The International CCS Knowledge Centre - Founded by SaskPower and BHP - was established to accelerate the global development of CCS technology by both sharing access to the data, information and lessons learned from the BD3 facility and by incorporating the knowledge and experience from CCS projects elsewhere in the world.

Commercial Scale Know How

CCS has been well demonstrated and operated at full commercial scale. With over three years of operating experence and lessons learned, the CCS unit at BD3 has captured over 2M tonnes of CO2.

The best learnings at BD3 have come from surprises in operation. We know what works. Just as vital, we know what doesn’t work - we know how to prevent detours, delays, and miscalculations because we’ve backtracked, and retooled to fix and adapt. These are the lessons learned and the expertise that we want to share with the world. Knowing what to do, as well as what not to do, can save a lot of time and a lot of money.

Coal Unit Retrofit – Boundary Dam Unit 3

As part of the Boundary Dam CCS Project, SaskPower transformed its aging Unit #3 at Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan, Saskatchewan into a reliable, long-term producer of up to 115 megawatts (MW) of base-load electricity.

The integrated operation includes:

  • The Coal Unit Retrofit
  • Carbon Capture Facility
  • Carbon Capture Test Facility
  • Emissions Control Research Facility
  • CO2 Storage at Aquistore

Carbon Capture Facility

Take a tour

The Boundary Dam Carbon Capture Facility is capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to one million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year - the equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off the road. 

Boundary Dam captures:

  • 90% CO2.    
  • 100% SO2.    
  • 50% of the Nox. As well as various harmful particulate matters.

The captured CO2 is transported by pipeline to nearby oil fields in southern Saskatchewan where it is used for enhanced oil recovery. CO2 not used for enhanced oil recovery is injected in a disposal well and being monitored by the Aquistore Project.

In addition to CO2, the project allowed for the manufacturing other products from the byproducts captured. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is captured, converted to sulphuric acid and sold for industrial use. Fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, is sold for use in ready-mix concrete, pre-cast structures and concrete products.

Carbon Capture Test Facility

The Carbon Capture Test Facility is available to companies to develop and test carbon capture and storage to provide options for the next generation of CCS innovation. Built in partnership with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd., the test facility is a high-tech laboratory that uses a small amount of exhaust (flue) gas from the neighboring Shand Power Station and allows researchers to test equipment, chemical innovation or engineering designs in a highly controlled environment.

The test facility is a modular facility, where many individual parts can be isolated, modified and operated to test specific carbon capture technologies. It contains sophisticated measurement tools and a data system which continually records operating conditions at a hundred locations. Companies are able to track how their particular technology performs over time and in response to realistic commercial operating conditions.

Emissions Control Research Facility

The Emissions Control Research Facility (ECRF) has been established at the Poplar River Power Station, located in southern Saskatchewan. The ECRF has been used to evaluate various technologies for controlling emissions (such as mercury) to determine how the process will perform when fully installed at a power station.

The ECRF can also be used to evaluate processes to reduce other emissions. This facility of its kind in Canada and uses a continuous sample of real flue gas, taken from a power station, and is tested. The facility provides a viable option rather than conducting tests in a pilot plant facility with a burner that could simulate a coal-fired boiler.

CO2 Storage - Aquistore

Aquistore Project is the most comprehensive full-scale geological field laboratory for CO2 storage in the world.

With leading edge technology, the Aquistore Project is an independent research and monitoring project demonstrating the safe, reliable and economic advantages of injecting captured CO2.

The Project consists of heavily instrumented injection and observation wells that continuous monitor the impact and migration of injected CO2 in geological storage of 3.4 kilometres deep in a layer of brine-filled sandstone.

Located 2.0 km from Boundary Dam, the Aquistore Project (which is managed by PTRC) takes the buffer CO2 captured from the plant.  

By optimizing CO2 storage, the Aquistore Project has the ingenuity to significantly advance clean technology and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.