Sask. government says too soon to abandon carbon capture projects

The government of Saskatchewan says it is too soon to rule out further carbon capture projects, despite the high cost of producing electricity at Boundary Dam near Estevan.

Opposition urges government to cut its losses and customer's power bills

Minister responsible for SaskPower, Dustin Duncan, says it would be premature to rule out future carbon capture projects now. (Mike Zartler/CBC)

Despite the high cost of producing electricity at Boundary Dam near Estevan, the government of Saskatchewan says it is not ready to give up on the idea of further carbon capture projects.

On Friday, SaskPower's president Mike Marsh said the company would be "highly unlikely" to recommend further units at Boundary Dam be retrofitted to capture carbon emissions.

Marsh said the price of electricity generated via carbon capture was twice that of natural gas.

Part of a carbon capture and storage facility is pictured at the Boundary Dam Power Station (background) in Estevan, Sask. on Thursday, October 2, 2014. (Michael Bell/Canadian Press)

On Monday during question period, the NDP's Cathy Sproule said the minister should cut the government's losses and kill any future carbon capture projects.

"How many more hundreds of millions of dollars will he make Saskatchewan people pay for the Sask. Party's CCS experiment?" she said. 

The minister responsible for SaskPower, Dustin Duncan, said it was premature to say whether carbon capture projects will be recommended by SaskPower in the future, never mind what the government might do with such a recommendation.

Duncan said there are many other factors to consider besides the price of the power.

"The ability to sell carbon for enhanced oil recovery. The incremental additional royalties that'll be paid to the government because of enhanced oil operations," Duncan cited. 

He also said the number of jobs that would be created from those projects would be taken under consideration.