A Japanese firm is going to provide a ground carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring systems for the integrated carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at the Boundary Dam Power Station.
SaskPower, Premier Brad Wall, K-Coal Canada Co. Ltd., and Chugai Technos signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at Chugai's headquarters in Japan on September 30.
The MOU is connected to the integrated CCS project that is nearing completion at Boundary Dam.
"SaskPower’s project will be the world’s first commercially viable large-scale carbon capture and storage project at a coal-fired power station, and we expect that the performance and economic efficiency of carbon capture and storage technology will be verified by the MOU," said Wall.
"There’s great interest in SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage project from around the world, and today’s MOU signing is more evidence of that," said SaskPower president and CEO Robert Watson.
SaskPower and the provincial government have hosted dozens of national and international tour groups at the Boundary Dam site this year alone.
Chugai's role in the carbon capture and storage project is to establish the world’s first monitoring system that allows access to the condition of the ground CO2 concentration at a CCS site.
Prototypes of a CO2 ground leakage monitoring system provided by Chugai are going to be deployed at several locations on site.
"They have equipment that can monitor CO2 on the ground level and in the ground," said Watson. "They wanted to come and test it on a live site. For us, it's advantageous, because there's more and more interest."
Not only does it benefit the integrated CCS project, but it assists the future of clean coal in general, Watson said.
The monitoring system will provide stability, cost effectiveness, higher reliability, feasibility of continuous measurement on a large scale, and user accessibility, which is a benefit to support the public acceptance of carbon capture and storage technology.
Chugai is not only excited to be part of a project that is the first of its kind in the world, Watson said, but they're looking forward to having access to the deep well storage that is nearby.
Watson says the integrated CCS project is now into the "final 15 per cent." The capture island is nearly finished, and not only is it on time, but it is under-budget.
Unit 3 at Boundary Dam is being retrofitted as part of the project. There have been challenges associated with the rebuild, Watson said, but contractors have adapted.
Construction on the carbon capture test facility at the Shand Power Station is underway. SaskPower and their partners for the project, Hitachi, recently came together to mark the milestone.
Watson said that the Japanese people are very traditional, and they like to dedicate sites when construction starts.
"Interest in the test facility is huge and growing every day," said Watson. "We, quite frankly, have to make sure we temper it a little bit. We have to focus on getting the project done, and for the next little while, that's what we're going to focus on."
Watson said the facility should be in production by the end of 2015.