BHP Billiton has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saskatchewan-based electricity provider, SaskPower to jointly accelerate development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to boost coal demand.
As per the deal, the partners will launch a global knowledge centre in a bid to promote research and reduce the cost and risk related to the new CCS projects.
The new center will use the data, information and lessons learned from the SaskPower’s $1.4bn CCS project, an addition to the Boundary Dam power plant near Estevan, in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Boundary Dam CCS Project rebuilt a coal-fired generation unit with carbon capture technology to make technical, environmental and economic case for the continued use of coal for power generation with low emission.
SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh said: "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."
The coal-fired generation unit with carbon capture technology was developed last year by SaskPower to reduce CO2 emissions by 1 million tons per year, which amounts to about 90% of the Boundary Dam power plant’s emissions.
The Boundary Dam CCS project is designed to captures CO2 emissions and transports the gas through a steel pipeline into storage deep underground.
BHP Billiton chief commercial officer Dean Dalla Valle said: "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.
"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."
The MoU comes in line with BHP’s plan to promote usage of fossil fuels to generate cleaner power and also to promote the renewable power technologies.
BHP Billiton Canada president Giles Hellyer said: "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."
Image: The Boundary Dam CCS Project in Canada .Photo: courtesy of SaskPower.