BD3 CCS facility reaches 4 million tonne milestone

05 April 2021

The following commentary by Brent Jacobs, P.Eng. is a statement on behalf of the International CCS Knowledge Centre. 

It takes courage to be first. And now with SaskPower’s ground-breaking Boundary Dam 3 CCS Facility (BD3) having captured and prevented four million tonnes (4Mt) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, it is a milestone worth celebrating.

This amount of carbon mitigation not only has the equivalent emissions impact of taking approximately 865,000 cars off the road for a year, but it also underscores the value and large-scale impact of being tenacious in application-based learning and advancements.

“I have the privilege of being part of the team at the International CCS Knowledge Centre (Knowledge Centre) where we work to advance the use of large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a means of greatly reducing global greenhouse gasses. What is particularly unique about this work is that we do this by sharing our experience and acquired knowledge from progressing along the learning curve. It’s our aim to ensure that others have the assurance of expertise; a strong and reliable basis of know-how before they start.”

The CCS story at BD3 is one of significant progress and inspiration for future CCS initiatives. BD3’s carbon capture performance continues to improve and demonstrates the real-world application of CCS to substantially reduce emissions in the energy and industry sectors.

With the experience gained through the design, construction, operation and subsequent improvements of the BD3 CCS Facility, the Knowledge Centre developed two major studies that continue to be at the forefront of post-combustion capture processes globally. The Shand CCS Feasibility Study (Shand Study, Nov.2018), shows major improvements in CCS project costs, risks, and efficiencies, and provides the foundation for the Lehigh CCS Feasibility Study, (anticipated in autumn 2021), which directly applies these advancements to the cement sector.

The analysis of daily operational data from the BD3 CCS facility, from the time it began capture operations in October of 2014, were recently shared on the world stage at the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme GHGT-15 conference in March 2021. The results are more than promising.

As with most “first of a kind” facilities, unforeseen barriers can be expected to impact performance. These real application-based studies address specific challenges experienced with the capture system at BD3 CCS Facility and the corrective actions taken to improve its performance, reliability, and availability. These corrective actions are directly transferable to the next installations of CCS.

Brent Jacobs is the Engineering Team Leader at the International CCS Knowledge Centre and has hands-on expertise in working on the BD3 CCS facility and is an author of the Shand CCS Feasibility Study and Leigh CCS Feasibility Study.