Saskatchewan carbon-capture plant hits 800,000 tonnes of CO2 in one year

REGINA – SaskPower says its carbon-capture facility at a coal-fired power plant has captured 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in one year.

The Crown utility says in a news release that the facility has been operating 85 per cent of the time overall this year, and during six of the last 12 months it was online 100 per cent of the time.

SaskPower CEO Mike Marsh says the facility has eliminated emissions equal to taking 200,000 cars off the road in the last 12 months.

The $1.5-billion carbon-capture facility near Estevan opened in October 2014.

It faced technical and mechanical problems and worked 45 per cent of the time in its first year of operation.

SaskPower had to pay $12 million in penalties in 2014 and $7.3 million in penalties last year to an energy company for failing to deliver enough captured carbon dioxide.

Marsh has said it’s normal for any energy plant to have to work out kinks in the first year and the sale of captured CO2 is offsetting the penalties.