Miner & Utility Team Up to Promote Carbon Capture Technologies

SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Plant via ckom.com

BHP Billiton, the top global miner and biggest exporter of coal used in steel plants, recently announced that they have teamed up with Canada’s Saskatchewan Power to promote carbon capture technology to help shore up coal demand. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two companies, BHP Billiton would contribute to the establishment of a global knowledge centre to help promote research and reduce the cost and risk associated with new CCS projects. BHP declined to reveal the exact amount to be invested in the venture; however, it is estimated to be millions of dollars.

SaskPower opened the first large-scale CCS project at a coal-fired plant a year ago, aiming to capture 90% of the carbon emissions from the Boundary Dam plant after a C$1.35 billion ($1 billion) overhaul. CCS technology is seen as essential to the future of fossil fuel-fired power plants amid the global push to limit emissions of greenhouse gases to curb climate change.

BHP Billiton Chief Commercial Officer, Dean Dalla Valle, said he was excited that the company was working with SaskPower to support efforts to reduce the world’s emissions.

To respond effectively to climate change, we must develop and deploy a wide range of low emissions technologies more quickly than the usual commercial timeframes. But progress remains too slow. The individual components of CCS (capture, transport and storage) have been successfully demonstrated for many years but Boundary Dam is the first power project to bring all these together. Much more investment and many more projects are needed to bring down the cost of technology and accelerate its deployment. By making relevant information from Boundary Dam more widely available, we hope our contribution has a multiplier effect and promotes CCS investment around the world. We continue to assess other investments to support the development of CCS and other low emissions technology as part of our commitment to take action on climate change.
SaskPower’s CCS journey began more than a decade ago, and today we’re proud to develop this exciting opportunity with BHP Billiton. The intention of this partnership is to allow the CCS expertise and knowledge being developed in Saskatchewan to be shared worldwide, and what better way to do that than with a major global business leader.

Giles Hellyer, President BHP Billiton Canada Inc, said he was proud that BHP Billiton was seeking to partner with a local Saskatchewan organization to achieve excellent work that is firmly aligned with BHP Billiton’s climate change position.

As the home of our Jansen Potash project, we have a strong connection with and commitment to Saskatchewan and it’s great to see some of the innovative work being done in the region recognised globally as part of such an important effort to reduce the world’s emissions. This partnership demonstrates the strength of the work being undertaken by SaskPower at the Boundary Dam facility, the support offered by the Saskatchewan Government and BHP Billiton’s commitment to tackling climate change. We know there is still much more to be done in CCS, but we are encouraged by the results we are seeing today, and the innovations we are working on for tomorrow. The Boundary Dam project offers lessons for all of us and we look forward to being part of it.
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