A major piece of the $1.24 billion carbon capture and sequestration project rolled into the Boundary Dam Power Station last week.
A carbon dioxide stripper, which weighs roughly 500,000 pounds, was transported to Estevan from Tofield, Alberta on a flatbed trailer that had 224 tires. Due to its weight and size - the unit is 70 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter - it took four trucks to move the stripper to its home as one pulled from the front and provided the navigation while three more pushed from the rear.
The travelling party also included a number of pilot vehicles that drove ahead of the group hauling the stripper and had traffic move to the side of the road to allow safe passage. As it got closer to Estevan around five o'clock on Thursday, traffic became somewhat of a mess as vehicles leaving were forced to the side of the road while those on their way into the city were stuck behind the convoy which was travelling at an average of 50 kilometres an hour.
According to SaskPower officials The Mercury spoke with, the stripper, which will be lifted into place with a massive crane, is a critical component of the CCS project.
The CO2 stripper and sulfur dioxide stripper, which was also hauled to BDPS in Thursday's convoy, will work hand in hand with two absorbers that are currently under construction.
The absorbers are responsible for taking the CO2 and capturing it in a liquid called amine. The amine is then pumped from the absorber to the stripper where plates inside the vessel cause the liquid to fizz up and release the CO2 so it can be captured and stored underground.
Once underground the CO2 will either remain in storage or be used for enhanced oil recovery projects in the area. SaskPower management have been hard at work developing customers for the CO2 to help defray some of the costs of the project.
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