Clean Coal: If It Can't Make It There, It Can't Make It Anywhere

They can't get enough carbon dioxide in Saskatchewan; they actually import it from the States to inject into oil wells to stimulate production. Thus it was the perfect place to build a coal fired power plant that would separate out the CO2, where there was a market for the stuff. It was going to use a process called Oxyfuel, where the coal is burned in "synthetic air" where the nitrogen is removed, so the products of combustion are almost pure CO2 and water. "SaskPower's Clean Coal™ Project will introduce technology capable of capturing at least 90 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The additional use of SO2, NOX, mercury and particulate control and capture mechanisms will result in a near-zero emissions facility." and "This CO2 will be sold for enhanced oil recovery operations in southeast Saskatchewan, possibly generating enough revenue to offset the cost of its capture and delivery."

Not quite. Projected costs are out of control, soaring from $ 1.7 Billion to $ 3.8 Billion, and Sask Power has pulled the plug. "We remain fully committed to exploring clean coal as a supply option in the longer term," SaskPower president Pat Youzwa said yesterday."But given the need for new supply by 2010, and given the costs of clean coal at this early stage in its development, it would have been premature to proceed to the construction phase at this time." So they are going to build natural gas plants instead. So much for that fantasy. ::Globe and Mail

Tags: Clean Coal