SaskPower officially launches carbon capture test facility at Shand

Facility will provide unique access for global scientists and engineers

Technology enthusiasts and representatives from around the world were present at the Shand Power Station in Estevan to celebrate the official opening of one of the largest carbon capture test facilities (CCTF) in the world.

The facility, built in partnership with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd., is a high-tech laboratory that uses a small amount of exhaust (flue) gas from the neighbouring Shand Power Station. It allows researchers to test equipment, chemical innovation or engineering designs in a highly controlled enviornment.

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"This facility is the first of its kind on the planet," said Premier Brad Wall in a video message that was presented to guests at the opening ceremony on June 18.

Misubishi is currently the only company that's leasing the facility for their own uses, but Mike Monea, president of carbon capture and storage initiatives, said he's confident more will come.

"This plant will attract vendors, because they really need to see the plant up and running before the commit to a test period," Monea said to reporters after the ceremony, adding SaskPower could potentially do the testing themsleves, on behalf of other companies, sometime in the future.

Mitsubishi will continue testing their equipment at the CCTF over a 14-month period, which began back in April.

The $70 million test facility has a lifespan of about seven to 10 years, according to Kevin Beck, construction supervisor for SaskPower.

Check out next week's issue of the Mercury for more in depth coverage of the test facility.

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