SaskPower (SPC), a Crown Corporation, operates the Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan, SK. Boundary Dam is a coal-fired generating station, which has been providing power to the province since 1959. Turbine #3 (BD3) is currently slated for a retrofit. As part of the rebuild, SPC and its partners have embarked upon a $1.4 billion construction project to create a fully integrated carbon capture and storage (CCS) system, wherein they will isolate and separate the CO2 – estimated at one million tonnes per year – then market the by-products to resource companies for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations or store/dispose of any captured product for which there is no market.
Employing leading-edge technology, BD3 will be the world’s first and largest commercial-scale power plant equipped with a CCS system. Moreover, it demonstrates a viable path for other Saskatchewan-based coal-fired generating units, including Boundary Dam’s three additional turbines, as demand for CO2 increases in the energy sector. BD3 is slated to go into commercial operation on or about April 1, 2014.
Throughout various stages of the project, Altus Geomatics has primarily provided technical services. Our success is measured by accuracy, response times, innovative technology and on-the-ground solutions to facilitating accurate and efficient results.
For SaskPower, this step toward the increased commercialization of carbon capture and storage as a viable option for the ongoing use of coal in power generation is yet another example in a long history of “innovative firsts” in environmental, safety and sustainability initiatives.
For the resource company, the Project ensures a consistent and adequate supply of CO2, maintaining and expanding its enhanced oil recovery projects, and providing a second reliable supply source of CO2 for its Saskatchewan operations.
For Altus Geomatics, it’s another demonstration of our local, on-the-ground knowledge, experience and expertise, as well as a continued ability to work across multiple components of a project on behalf of a longstanding client base.
Geomatics Value-Added Services
Quality Assurance, Quality Control: Boundary Dam BD3 Clean Coal Facility: Since the Project’s inception in 2011, Altus Geomatics has provided survey Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QAQC) for SNC Lavalin, the firm implementing the design/build for SPC. We have been monitoring and inspecting construction layout from the initial site control, excavation, foundation and piling layout, to the installation of vessels and equipment, and the erection of the structural steel for the buildings. In addition to QAQC, we have supplied aerial photographs of the site on a monthly basis.
Topographic and Wellsite Surveys: Carbon Dioxide Disposal and Storage: In the event that there is a surplus of captured CO2, it will be disposed of and permanently stored underground in a deep saline aquifer through the use disposal well. Beginning in the fall of 2011, Altus Geomatics conducted the topographic and wellsite surveys for The Petroleum Technology Research Centre’s (PTRC) Aquistore Project. In early 2013, PTRC completed the drilling of two of these wells near Estevan.
Route Selection: Carbon Dioxide Marketing to Industry: In December of 2012, the resource company entered into a 10-year contract with SPC to purchase the full volume of the captured CO2 from BD3 and ship it by pipeline (approximately 70km) to its Weyburn Oilfield, where it will be injected underground into the oilbearing rock to help extract it and make it easier to move.
In January of 2013, Altus Geomatics completed all of the route selection for the new pipeline, as well as the legal and construction surveys to facilitate land/easement acquisition and the engineering design. The line is slated for construction in June of 2013, at which time we will provide all required staking and as-built services.
The resource company currently operates the world’s largest CO2 sequestration project in the Weyburn Field, which commenced in 2000, using CO2 from a facility in North Dakota. Altus Geomatics has been, and continues to be, the sole provider of survey services at the Weyburn Field.