CCS will struggle to be viable, lead practitioner says.

FT: “A technology at the heart of efforts to avoid global warming will struggle to be economically viable in many places, the company spearheading its use in the power industry has revealed.”
“SaskPower, a Canadian utility, last month became the first company to launch a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage system on a coal power plant, at its Boundary Dam site in the province of Saskatchewan.
The technology captures carbon dioxide gas produced by burning fossil fuels and pumps it deep underground.
But the high capital costs of carbon capture systems – and the electricity they cannibalise from power plants – have thwarted years of effort to bring the process into widespread use.
SaskPower confirmed that the project’s long-term financial viability is underpinned by a 10-year deal to sell all its captured carbon dioxide to another company, Canadian oil group Cenovus Energy, so the gas can be injected into nearby ageing oil fields to boost flagging recovery rates – a process known as enhanced oil recovery.
Power companies in places without suitable oil fields nearby will not be able to strike similar deals for some time, said Mike Monea, SaskPower’s head of carbon capture and storage initiatives, although other markets for CO2 could eventually develop and the process would become more viable if the price of carbon rises high enough.
“Enhanced oil recovery is an essential component for the economics of the project,” Mr Monea said in an interview with the Financial Times.
“We’re lucky,” he said, explaining Saskatchewan had plenty of oil fields and SaskPower expected to be able to keep selling captured carbon dioxide for the 35-year life of its Boundary Dam plant.
Cenovus is also paying for a 66km pipeline taking the captured carbon to the oil fields, said Mr Monea.
The pioneering C$1.4bn Boundary Dam plant had C$240m in federal government backing.
….Because the Boundary Dam plant is only just up and running, Mr Monea said it was too early to give a precise figure for the cost of its electricity.
Most of the 22 advanced carbon capture and storage, or CCS, projects identified around the world by the Global CCS Institute in a report earlier this month involve enhanced oil recovery.
The Boundary Dam plant will capture 1m tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of taking 250,000 cars off the road, SaskPower says.”