As of March 11, the carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station has taken offline for scheduled maintenance. It is expected to take about 60 days to complete.
Jordan Jackle, the consultant for media relations and issues management in SaskPower’s corporate and regulatory affairs, explained that there are a number of different components that will be taken apart and inspected as part of this work including the compressor, which hasn’t been disassembled and inspected since it started operating in 2014.
“This is a pretty standard routine maintenance shutdown. This is something that happens at the majority of our facilities to extend the … life of the facility and to ensure it is running as smoothly as possible. This is a part of the business that goes along with running facilities like this,” Jackle said.
Boundary Dam Unit 3 (BD3) will be taken offline as well for a portion of that, so it won’t be generating power during the shutdown.
Regular maintenances such as this one are usually scheduled to happen during so-called shoulder seasons, which is spring or fall.
“In the spring and in the fall you are generally seeing lower load demands across the province, that’s because obviously in the winter it’s cold, there is a lot more power being used. And as we get into summer with really hot weather, again we see much higher loads there. So by doing it in spring and in fall, we are able to meet the demand of our customers while being able to take these units offline and get some of this work done,” said Jackle.
The last maintenance shutdown of CCS and BD3 of this sort started in May 2017. There were some upgrades done during that time. And this time the focus is strictly on maintenance.
SaskPower has also released the most recent numbers for the CCS facility. Being a shorter month, February was more effective than January. In 28 days, the facility captured 57,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). It was online 96.5 per cent of the month. It was offline for about 23 hours due to a boiler issue on the actual power unit at BD3 as well as a minor compressor issue at the CCS facility itself.
More than 2,573,000 tonnes of CO2 have been captured at the facility since it went online in October 2014.