The Boundary Dam Carbon Capture & Storage debacle

Promoting carbon capture and storage (CCS) has long been a mainstay of the global coal industry’s PR pitch.  They argue that it is possible to keep building new coal plants and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

As crippling cost overruns and other problems with Mississippi Power’s US$6.4 billion Kemper CCS project have mounted, hyping the SaskPower Boundary Dam CCS project in Canada was the last card left in the coal lobby’s CCS deck.

In February this year the World Coal Association proclaimed that CCS technology is “a reality, as evidenced by the Boundary Dam coal-fired power station in Canada. This pioneering project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tonnes of CO2 annually, the equivalent to taking more than 250,000 cars off the road each year.”

Now the coal lobby has to acknowledge that the “reality” is the plant doesn’t work reliably and doesn’t yet capture a million tonnes of CO2 a year.

The revelations about the Boundary Dam CCS project over the last two weeks – with the likelihood of more to come – mean that when it comes to the Paris climate negotiations BHP Billiton and the World Coal Association will have a very hard time convincing anyone that SaskPower’s plant is really a success story.

Renew Economy: Bob Burton: 12 November 2015

Key Words: Climate Change, fossil fuels
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