IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme


BD3 CCS Integrated Facility - Technical Capabilities

MG CroppedCTCN and the International CCS Knowledge Centre delivered a webinar on the 11th April as update on the Carbon Capture and Storage facilities integrated in the Boundary Dam power plant in Canada. Emma Hannula, from CTCN, introduced Corwyn Bruce, who presented an overview of BD3 (Boundary Dam Unit 3), which is emitting 120-140 tCO2/GWh (as reference, new natural gas facilities could produce 370-400 tCO2/GWh and recent regulations in Canada limit those to 420 tCO2/GWh).

Regarding the technical design of the capture site, that comprises flue gas pre-treatment, absorption and desorption, together with heat integration and other utilities. SO2 is collected to produce sulfuric acid, which increases the process revenue, and a water wash unit operates at the top of the absorber, avoiding amine and nitrosimine emissions. Following last concerns on emissions in chemical absorption-based facilities (see IEAGHG 2018-IP05), it was interesting to know that several emissions tests are ongoing in BD3.

As we have seen in the past, (see IEAHG TR 2015-06), BD3 is a great understanding source of operation in large scale CCS facilities. During this update, we saw the evolution of absorber and desorber pressures and their relationship with ashes issues and foaming, both currently solved. Due to the character of that facility, FOAK (First of a kind), there is room for improvement on costs. 30% of CAPEX reduction can be achievable and steam cost could be severely reduced through an appropriate design. Additionally, bigger plants will reduce the CO2 avoidance costs, where modularization will be key. Smart heat integration and correct location of equipment will also be translated as higher gross power output.

Finally, Corwyn highlighted the importance of those results and their application not only to the power but also to industrial sectors. As example, cement production delivers flue gas with high CO2 concentration (see IEAGHG 2013-19). Trace compounds were concentrated during operation and that is particularly important with those acting as catalyst for degradation, what should be taken into account in industrial environments.  

As always, it was great to attend a presentation from the BD3 team. Corwyn mentioned how important is the knowledge transfer to impulse the implementation of next carbon capture plants, and translate those lessons not only to enhanced systems but also as inputs for new policies. Incentives are key and there is still a policies driver gap.

IEAGHG will be contributing to an update report to be published in a near future and we look forward to hearing more specific details at GHGT-14 (see ). IEAGHG and the International CCS Knowledge Centre are members of the CTCN network. A replay of the webinar will be available shortly ( ).


IEAHG TR 2015-06- Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage project at SaskPower's Boundary Dam Power Station (

IEAGHG 2015-IP05- International Amine Workshop organized by the Japan’s Ministry of Environment (

IEAGHG 2013-19 Deployment of CCS in the Cement Industry (