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Better 2016 for Boundary Dam CO2 capture

Emissions projection reduced from one million tonnes annually to 800,000 tonnes for 2016


ESTEVAN, Sask. — Officials from Manitoba, Ontario and the US have taken a tour of the Saskatchewan government’s $1.5 billion-dollar Boundary Dam carbon capture plant near Estevan.

The plant has endured controversy in recent months, with Premier Brad Wall allowing officials could have been more open about the fact the facility has only worked at half-capacity for much of this year.

Wayne Elhard, a Saskatchewan Party MLA who also serves with the Midwest Legislative Conference, said during the tour, Saskatchewan officials were clear with interested parties about the project’s shortfalls.

He said new technology “rarely works out of the box,” but added that shutdowns and slow-downs have been addressed and they expect to have a much better year ahead.

The goal for the facility had been to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by one million tonnes annually, but SaskPower spokesman Howard Matthews said that projection has now been reduced to 800,000 tonnes for 2016.

He said the facility has been running well since a shutdown in early November to overhaul some systems.

“There are still some issues, in any operating power plant, in any operating industrial site, there’s always issues to deal with, but we’ve seen some considerable progress made since our last shutdown.”

The Opposition NDP has said it would continue with the project if elected in next spring’s provincial election, but environment critic Cathy Sproule said she still has reservations.

“This is still up in the air,” she said. “This technology is not a sold deal yet, not even for SaskPower.”

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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