CO2 compressor at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station forced carbon capture shut down

The Richards Bay market gained $20 in the first week of 2019. Due to Indonesian coal export restrictions, they ran out of coal, and there were no ships to carry it between islands.
Indonesia’s energy ministry has already undertaken urgent negotiations with South Korea and Japan to ensure that high calorific coal is exempt from the embargo.

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Global LNG prices have also risen, but demand remains sluggish due to Asia’s significant supply levels and warm weather. The United States provides more than half of Europe’s LNG boats.  It seems improbable that the current surge in coal prices can be maintained without more positive developments in the coal industry. Coal producers in Queensland, Australia, and Mpumalanga, South Africa, might benefit from prolonged rains in the Southern Hemisphere.

This is partly due to the La Nina weather trend, which is projected to strengthen and remain until the fall season.  Localized floods might affect coal mining and rail transportation, but the industry has handled this in the past.

More Australian coal is being sent to China because of its prolonged embargo on importing New Coal from Australia, while South African coal is expanding its reach farther afield.  As Kusile and Medupi begin to improve their average coal EAF, load-shedding has been postponed for the time being in South Africa.

Canada’s lone carbon capture project on a big power plant collected 43 percent less carbon dioxide in 2021 than in the year before, according to new statistics released by the Canadian utility corporation that operates it.  The primary CO2 compressor motor at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan, Saskatchewan, failed last year, causing the CCS to be shut down for months.

Supporters of the facility claim that technical concerns have been currently resolved. At the same time, detractors of carbon capture technology believe that the solutions hint that the technology should not be financed at major coal-fired facilities.  This year’s capture rate is expected to be greater than last year’s, according to a spokeswoman with SaskPower.

However, the company’s statistics indicating that the CCS unit has collected around 44% of its 90% maximum capacity has sparked accusations that Boundary Dam’s Unit 3 is capturing a tiny percentage of its emissions. As stated by SaskPower, the coal plant’s initial annual CO2 collection objective was 1 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.  Aquistore, a “measurement, monitoring, and verification initiative” that receives CO2 from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam carbon capture plant has collected more than 4.2 million metric tons of CO2.

According to research issued in April 2021 by the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis, SaskPower said in March that it had caught 4 million metric tons of CO2 since beginning CO2 collection in 2014.  Last year, President Biden put into law a bipartisan infrastructure measure that included billions of dollars for demonstration projects. According to the International Energy Agency, carbon capture on power plants must increase considerably.

It’s worth remembering that Boundary Dam’s troubles from the previous year weren’t with the capturing technology, as some have suggested.

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