BHP and SaskPower partner up to boost global development of CCS technology

Mining giant BHP Billiton has announced that it has partnered up with SaskPower to work on the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology “by sharing access to the data, information and lessons learned from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam facility – the world’s first full chain power sector CCS project.”

Image credit: bhpbilliton.com
Image credit: bhpbilliton.com

Saskatchewan-based electricity provider SaskPower opened the first large-scale CCS project a year ago with a goal to capture 90% of the carbon emissions from the Boundary Dam plant after a $1.35 billion overhaul.

“To respond effectively to climate change, we must develop and deploy a wide range of low emissions technologies more quickly than the usual commercial timeframes. But progress remains too slow,” said BHP Billiton Chief Commercial Officer, Dean Dalla Valle.

“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. Much more investment and many more projects are needed to bring down the cost of technology and accelerate its deployment. 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. We continue to assess other investments to support the development of CCS and other low emissions technology as part of our commitment to take action on climate change.”

The goal of the partnership will be to accelerate the development of CCS by promoting research and helping reduce the risk and cost associated with such projects. Many are convinced that CCS will be crucial for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and slowing the impact of climate change.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall welcomed the partnership.

“We’re very happy to have BHP Billiton and SaskPower seek to partner on next steps, and make CCS more accessible to the world. With private enterprises like BHP Billiton investing in low emissions technology, we are turning the tide today in Saskatchewan, and tomorrow around the world. SaskPower’s CCS journey began more than a decade ago, and today we’re proud to develop this exciting opportunity with BHP Billiton,” he said.

Giles Hellyer, President BHP Billiton Canada Inc. said that the partnership between the two companies demonstrated the strength of the work being undertaken by SaskPower at the Boundary Dam facility.

“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,” Mr Hellyer said.

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