PM confirms support for carbon capture technology
Prime Minister Stephen Harper repeated his commitment on Tuesday to spend $240 million to convert an old coal-fired generator in southeastern Saskatchewan to a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage unit.
The money was first announced in last month's federal budget. The seven-year pilot project at the Boundary Dam plant near Estevan will cost an estimated $1.4 billion, with the province putting up $758 million.
As he toured the plant with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, Harper said the federal government won't be on the hook for any cost overruns.
Carbon dioxide is considered to be a major factor in global warming and while many countries are looking to cap CO2 emissions, the Harper government is investing in plans to store and use the gas.
Once the new technology is in place, CO2 emissions from the generator will be captured and piped underground. Some of the gas will be stored underground and some will be piped to oilfields in order to force oil to the surface.
"The proposed Boundary Dam project would reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by a million tonnes a year while generating up to 100 megawatts of clean power," the prime minister said in a release.
"Proving this technology on a commercial scale is key to reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions," he said.
It's estimated that Canada has the potential to store underground as much as 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, roughly equal to three-quarters of Canada's current annual emissions of greenhouse gases, the federal government says.