Unit 3 at the Boundary Dam Power Station has now been taken off-line so that refurbishment of Unit 3 can proceed – another crucial milestone for the Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) demonstration project.
According to a SaskPower press release, approximately 40 per cent of the unit will be refurbished to prepare it for integration with the carbon capture plant that is being constructed as part of the ICCS project.
The unit is scheduled to come back online in September 2013, according to Corwyn Bruce, the ICCS project's assistant manager. The upgrades are expected to keep the 45-year-old Unit 3 in service for another 30 years.
“We're replacing the turbine generator,” said Bruce. “We're replacing the feed water heating plant, which is an integral part of the turbine. We're replacing the main steam lines. We're doing a large amount of work on the boiler, so we're doing basically a full boiler rebuild.”
Some of the lower temperature parts of the boiler are still serviceable, he said, but anything that's been running at a high temperature for a long time will have to be replaced.
“In essence, we putting almost a new unit back where the old one used to be,” said Bruce.
Installing the turbine island will be the most critical part of the project.
They are not touching any of the fuel delivery or burning systems. Also, they aren't replacing a transformer, the turbine foundation, the cooling water pumps, the condenser, and some other aspects of Unit 3's operations.
SaskPower says it has planned to have sufficient capacity in the system to continue to serve customers who receive power from Boundary Dam Power Station while Unit 3 is off-line.
The number of tradespeople working on Unit 3 will peak at about 650, Bruce said, with boilermakers, pipe fitters, electricians and scaffolders on the site. He doesn't have a number for how many people are currently working on Unit 3, but he estimated that there were 420 people tackling preparatory tasks in the week before the Unit 3 shutdown began.
Additional workers continue to focus on the carbon capture plant.
Once the Unit 3 refurbishment is finished, SaskPower will begin integration testing between the carbon capture plant and the generating unit in October. It is expected to enter commercial operation on March 31, 2014.
The $1.24 billion dollar project will transform Unit 3 at Boundary Dam into a safe and reliable long-term producer of 110 megawatts of base-load electricity. It will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 90 per cent, or by approximately one million tonnes a year, which is the equivalent of taking more than 250,000 cars off Saskatchewan roads annually.