SaskPower carbon capture debate heats up Saskatchewan Legislature

SaskPower's carbon capture facility was once again a hot topic in the Saskatchewan Legislature today.

Premier Wall, Cam Broten debate issues with the Boundary Dam carbon capture facility

(Peter Mills/CBC)

SaskPower's carbon capture facility was once again a hot topic in the Saskatchewan Legislature today.

The company's own documents show it's not capturing as much carbon as it could. Now, members of the Saskatchewan NDP are highlighting what it believes are holes in the government and SaskPower's claims.

The NDP said the government's claim that the Boundary Dam carbon capture facility is improving is false.

The government and SaskPower made claims that it was capable of capturing 90 per cent of emissions. Last week, it was revealed that the facility was operating at 40 per cent and has been shut down for the past number of weeks.

Premier Wall faced question after question from Opposition leader Cam Broten over statements he's made about the success of Boundary Dam's carbon capture facility.

Wall said he stands by what he said and the project.

"Mr. Speaker, it's going to get to 90 per cent on a consistent basis," Wall said. "We know that in the coming months the plant will be operational again. And we need it to be operational if we're going to continue to have coal, cleaner coal in the fleet, if we're going to continue to have coal mining jobs in the province."

SaskPower's CEO admits the plant hasn't yet been able to capture 90 per cent of the plant's CO2. Yet just last month, a senior SaskPower official publicly stated the facility was already capable of 90 per cent capture. 

SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh said the apparent contradiction depends on what you mean by capable.

"It is capable of achieving 90 per cent capture when we have all the other pieces of equipment working," Marsh said. "That's what I said last week. That's what I'm saying today. That's what I'll continue to say."

The Opposition, however, is left with unanswered questions.

"What's being fixed?" Broten said. "Is there a likelihood that this will be up and running well and when? How much is it going to cost? What are the implications? And we just have the premier and the minister sitting under their desk, but not coming out to give answers to people."

CBC's Adam Hunter was at Question Period this afternoon:

Read Adam Hunter's tweets from Question Period.

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