Saskatchewan government not giving up on carbon capture and storage

The Saskatchewan government is not giving up on carbon capture, says it is far better than any carbon tax. Adrian Raaber / Global News

SaskPower Minister Dustin Duncan says the province will use due diligence in determining future power projects using carbon capture and storage.

SaskPower’s Boundary Dam power plant in Estevan takes emissions from coal generation and stores them.

READ MORE: SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3 in the spotlight during CCS symposium

On Friday, SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh said the technology is still worthwhile, but the current economic climate doesn’t warrant moving forward with such projects because the low cost of natural gas makes that a more viable option.

Duncan says carbon capture technology had its best month ever in October, taking more than 85,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the environment.

He added that carbon capture is far better than any carbon tax.

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READ MORE: New report criticizes Saskatchewan’s use of carbon capture technology

NDP critic Cathy Sproule said the government should not waste anymore taxpayer money using the technology on retrofitting the last two coal generated units at the plant.

When the $1.5-billion facility opened in October 2014, the goal was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes annually; in 2016, SaskPower said the plant was on track to capture 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

SaskPower had to pay $7.3 million in penalties to Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) in 2015 because the plant wasn’t operating enough to deliver all the captured carbon dioxide promised to Cenovus.

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