Contact UsMIT MITei

Boundary Dam Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project

Company/Alliance: SaskPower

Location: Unit #3, Boundary Dam Power Station, Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

Feedstock: Coal

Size: 139 MW gross. 110 MW net (1Mt/yr) Retrofit

Capture Technology: Post-combustion amine

CO2 Fate: EOR in Weyburn field (90% of CO2). Transportation is via 66 km pipeline built by Cenovus. Excess CO2 is to be used at the Aquistore project 2 km away

Start Date: Started in October 2014


The total cost of the project was $1.3 billion. Of that, $800 million was for the CCS process, with the remaining $500 million for retrofit costs. SaskPower feels they can cut capital costs 20-30% on the next unit.

The Boundary Dam project received $240 million from the federal government. The provincial government also supported the project. Besides electricity, revenue will be generated from the sale of CO2, sulphuric acid, and fly ash.


The retrofit is located at Boundary Dam's Unit 3. The project will capture 95% or 1Mt/yr. This project has been re-sized from an earlier plant to build a 300 MW clean coal facility near Estevan which had been shelved by the previous provincial government because of its escalating cost ($1.5 billion to $3.8 billion). This smaller scale project has occurred after the federal government gave the province $240 million.

There are no other energy sources nearby so power generation from coal is the only option. There are a few nearby lignite mines, which reduces the cost of transportation to the plant.

- March 2010: SNC Lavalin and Cansolv Technologies Limited were selected to oversee the engineering, procurement and construction activities for the Boundary Dam project. Cansolv, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell Global Solutions, will supply the carbon capture process design for the project. Cansolv has developed an innovative system of capturing sulphur dioxide at coal-fired power plants, which has been adopted by three facilities in China. Cenovus will also set up injection wells and build a 40 mile-long pipeline connecting the Weyburn EOR project with Boundary Dam.

- December 2010: SaskPower announced that it was proceeding with the $354 million rebuild of 150 MW Unit 3 at Boundary Dam, the province's largest coal-fired generating station.

- January 2011: Babcock and Wilcox were contracted to rebuild the boiler in Unit 3.

- July 2011: SaskPower signed a $30 million contract with Stantec for engineering consultancy during the design and construction of the system.

- December 2012: SaskPower announced that Cenovus Energy of Calgary will purchase the full volume of 1Mt/yr of CO2 captured at Boundary Dam for EOR projects operated by Cenovus operated near Weyburn.

- January 2013: Alberici will remove the old Unit 3 boiler and install a new Hitachi 160 MW turbine.

- May 2013: The UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) and SaskPower signed a MoU for a 3 year research initiative aimed at improving costs and performance of CCS.

- October 2014: Boundary Dam starts.

A $5.2 million, pre-commercial-scale chemical absorption technology demonstration pilot plant has already been operating at Boundary Dam as part of the International Test Centre for CO2 Capture. Part-funding of $1.2 million came from the Canada/Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement.

Cenovus Energy built the 66-km pipeline to transport the CO2 to nearby oil fields in the southern part of the province, where it will be used for enhanced oil recovery. The unused CO2 will be stored by the independent Aquistore research project, 3.4 km deep in a brine and sandstone water formation. Aquistore is a research project managed by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC).

Project Link: Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project

Technical Papers:

GHGT-12 Plenary Talk on Boundary Dam, Mike Monea, President, CCS Initiatives, SaskPower, (Nov 2014) <Link to PDF>
Stéphenne, K, Start-up of World's First Commercial Post-combustion Coal Fired CCS Project: Contribution of Shell Cansolv to SaskPower Boundary Dam ICCS Project, Energy Procedia, Vol 63, pp 6106-6110, (2014) <Link to PDF>

Other Sources and Press Releases:

Harper Government Marks Opening of New SaskPower Carbon Capture Test Facility (June 2015)
SaskPower's Mike Monea on carbon capture and storage (May 2015)
CO2 Solutions Accelerates Pursuit of Commercial Opportunities by Bringing Forward Demonstration Project (May 2015)
Premier Brad Wall touts Sask. carbon sequestration project (April 2015)
The race to catch carbon: New life for coal energy (March 2015)
Boundary Dam project is reaping benefits (Feb 2015)
BD3 performing beyond expectations, says SaskPower
(Feb 2015)
SaskPower’s $1.4B CCS plant named ‘Project of the Year’
(Jan 2015)
A Look Inside the First Commercial Coal Plant with Carbon Capture and Storage
(Jan 2015)
First commercial-scale CCS plant comes online (Sept 2014)
Big piece of Estevan clean coal project moves into place at Boundary (January 2013)
SaskPower clean coal project about to enter next construction phase with tie-in to Boundary Dam Unit 3 (Jan 2013)
Alberici to install turbine for SaskPower carbon capture pilot project (Jan 2013)
Saskatchewan committed to proceeding with carbon-capture project (April 2012)
Carbon capture project moving right along (March 2012)
CO2 stripper rolls into Boundary Dam (Dec 2011)
SNC-Lavalin will design Boundary Dam capture project (May 2011)
Government approves $1.24 billion Carbon Capture Project (April 2011)
Hitachi announce collaboration to provide steam turbine CCS project (Feb 2010)
Fluor awarded the front-end engineering design (July 2009)
Clean coal power plant to be build at Boundary Dam (Feb 2008)
SaskPower seeks energy industry partnership (May 2008)

Date Modified June 22, 2015

Please send any comments, additions or corrections to