A Marquee ‘Clean Coal’ Project Is Failing

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ian Austen for the New York Times:An electrical plant on the Saskatchewan prairie was the great hope for industries that burn coal.In the first large-scale project of its kind, the plant was equipped with a technology that promised to pluck carbon out of the utility’s exhaust and bury it underground, transforming coal into a cleaner power source. In the months after opening, the utility and the provincial government declared the project an unqualified success.But the $1.1 billion project is now looking like a green dream.Known as SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3, the project has been plagued by multiple shutdowns, has fallen way short of its emissions targets, and faces an unresolved problem with its core technology. The costs, too, have soared, requiring tens of millions of dollars in new equipment and repairs.“At the outset, its economics were dubious,” said Cathy Sproule, a member of Saskatchewan’s legislature who released confidential internal documents about the project. “Now they’re a disaster.”The utility that runs the project, SaskPower, and advocates for carbon capture argue that the setbacks are typical teething problems associated with any new and complex technology.“Over time, as more companies, countries engage in carbon capture and storage technologies, the price for everybody is going to come down,” Mike Marsh, the chief executive of SaskPower, told a legislative committee in January. “That will make it easier to employ.”The Boundary Dam Power Station sits near a wealth of resources not far from the North Dakota border.Hundreds of years of coal reserves are buried under the ground nearby, virtually eliminating transportation costs. And the mining creates employment in an area with limited job prospects.“It’s a low-cost, stable supply,” Mr. Marsh said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity in North America to continue to utilize coal.”To the utility and the provincial government, the process known as carbon capture and storage seemed tantalizing when a review of the power system began 11 years ago.The technology offered a way to stick with coal in a carbon-conscious era. It was especially attractive in Canada, where rising emissions from the oil sands have more than offset reductions elsewhere, including Ontario’s abandonment of coal-fired electrical generation.Through the process, machinery would first remove most of the soot and ash from the coal’s exhaust. The exhaust would then pass through a kind of chemical called an amine that would snatch the carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, out of it. The gathered carbon dioxide, separated from the amine, would be compressed, moved through pipelines and ultimately buried underground.Variations of the technology have been used as far back as the 1920s. And small demonstration projects have largely worked, including one in Norway that opened in 2012.Boundary Dam, which received a major Canadian subsidy and opened in September 2014, was the first full-scale deployment of the technology to cut emissions from burning coal. Saskatchewan picked a process owned by Shell, encouraged by its history with petrochemicals.At the outset, the utility and the province said the project was working as intended, capturing 90 percent of the plant’s carbon. It was the equivalent, they said, of taking 250,000 cars off the road. Environmentalists and politicians from around the world came to check out Boundary Dam.But the success story disintegrated last November when Ms. Sproule, a member of the opposition New Democratic Party, unveiled the confidential documents in the provincial legislature. She wouldn’t identify the people who provided the documents, although the government confirmed their authenticity.The documents showed that the system was working at only 45 percent of capacity. One memo, written a month after the government publicly boasted about the project, cited eight major problem areas. Fixing them, it said, could take a year and a half, and the memo warned that it was not immediately apparent how to resolve some problems.A chart covering the first year of operation showed that the system often didn’t work at all. When it was turned back on after shutdowns for adjustments and repairs, the amount of carbon captured sometimes even dropped.The buoyant public remarks, Mr. Marsh said, accurately reflected the company’s early assessment of the system. “We were very optimistic when this plant came online,” he said.Still, he acknowledged that “there were a few statements that it was achieving more than it had.” Mr. Marsh characterized many of the problems as design issues, such as inadequate temperature control systems, rather than fundamental flaws.But Boundary Dam has exposed a problem with Shell’s process when used with coal exhaust. Despite the plant’s initial filtering, tiny particles of ash still remain in the exhaust and contaminate the amine, reducing its ability to grab carbon, Mr. Marsh said.The control room of a carbon capture and storage facility at Boundary Dam Power Station. Credit Michael Bell/CPTOR, via Associated Press“Over all, we are pleased with the performance of the capture technology,” Shell Canada said in a statement, adding that it was working with SaskPower “to optimize operations and capture any lessons that can be applied to improve future projects.”But the costs are piling up.One shutdown last spring to clean and replenish the chemical cost 17 million Canadian dollars. Mr. Marsh said that the company was still looking for a way to prevent the contamination.The repeated shutdowns have caused SaskPower to miss multiple carbon dioxide deliveries to Cenovus Energy, the Canadian oil company that signed a 10-year contract with the utility to buy most of the gas. (Cenovus uses carbon dioxide to force oil from largely depleted wells.) SaskPower has had to pay 7 million Canadian dollars in penalties, offsetting most of the 9 million Canadian dollars in payments received.On top of that, the carbon system is a voracious consumer of the electricity generated by Boundary Dam, which has 150 megawatts of capacity. Mr. Marsh testified that about 30 megawatts of capacity were consumed by the system, and an additional 15 to 16 megawatts were needed to compress the carbon dioxide.Tim Boersma, the acting director of the energy security and climate initiative at the Brookings Institution, said that extensive power loss is a significant factor keeping other utilities from following SaskPower’s lead.“That is exactly the reason this is not going to fly,” Mr. Boersma said. “The plant’s efficiency goes down so dramatically.”As it continues to sort out the plant’s problems, SaskPower is damping expectations. The utility cut its emissions reduction target for this year to 800,000 metric tons, from one million.The company said it is working with the engineering firm that designed the project to solve the problems and increase efficiency. Mr. Marsh said there were indications that performance was improving. Last month, the utility said the system was working at 67 percent of capacity.Even some environmentalists are hoping for a turnaround.George Peridas, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean air program, said his group did not endorse the use of coal, but it accepted that coal would continue to be part of the energy mix.Carbon capture, he said, will be a “vital part” of reducing emissions. Based on discussions with SaskPower, Mr. Peridas said he was confident that Boundary Dam would eventually work out.“I don’t see any indication that the carbon capture system of this plant is broken,” Mr. Peridas said. “It’s had a bumpy start.”Technology to Make Clean Energy From Coal Is Stumbling in Practice A Marquee ‘Clean Coal’ Project Is Failinglast_img read more

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East Java’s first Posyandu for people with disabilities opens in Malang

first_imgKen said the Posyandu was established because of the difficulty that people with disabilities in the area faced in accessing health services at community health centers (Puskesmas) and hospitals.He said disabled children and adults paid an average of Rp 200,000 (US$14.63) per medical examination, not including transportation costs, which could be very burdensome for low-income families.These hurdles led the village administration to take the initiative to work together with a number of related institutions – including disability advocacy group Lingkar Sosial (Linksos) Indonesia, the Lawang district Puskesmas, and the Radjiman Wediodiningrat psychiatric hospital – to establish the Posyandu.The Puskesmas helped provide the general practitioners, midwives and Posyandu volunteers; the psychiatric hospital contributed psychiatrists; while Lingksos provided business and marketing training. The village administration, meanwhile, lent its hall to be used as a venue for the Posyandu and also provided ambulances to offer shuttle services. Village officials, healthcare providers and disability advocates have teamed up to create East Java’s first integrated health services post (Posyandu), to help people with disabilities in Bedali village, Lawang district, Malang.The Posyandu – whose services include health examinations and medication, physiotherapy, counseling, parenting, arts and crafts training, as well as shuttle services – has been available at the Bedali village hall every first Thursday of the month since December, 2019, operating from 8 a.m. to noon.“These [services] are all free,” Posyandu head Ken Karta said at the post’s opening day last week, adding that the facility had 20 staff of different backgrounds, including psychiatrists, general practitioners, midwives and volunteers. Mustajab, a 39-year-old Bedali resident, who has a daughter with a disability, said that he felt lucky that the Posyandu was there and was located only 500 meters from his house. He said he previously had to go to the Lawang psychiatric hospital to get health services for his daughter. “It’s 9 kilometers from home. I spend about Rp 150,000 per visit,” he said.Siti Kotimah, 44, who also has a daughter with a disability, echoed Mustajab’s sentiments. She said the Posyandu was even better than the hospital because she could meet with friends there to share knowledge. It also offered training and shuttle facilities.“That’s what makes it different from Lawang psychiatric hospital,” she said.To access the services at the Posyandu, residents only need to fill in the waiting list form, have their weight and waist measured, and their blood pressure checked. A staff member will then ask about their health conditions over the past month, then a physician will examine them and provide medical advice, as well prescribe medications before they are finally examined by a psychiatrist. The health services are preceded by group exercise and play sessions and the Posyandu also provides training for people with disabilities to make floor mats.Ken said that since the Posyandu opened last December, the number of disabled people registered in the village’s social welfare information system next generation (SIKS-NG) had increased tenfold to 90 from nine.“Many were not registered in the SIKS-NG previously because their families were ashamed,” he said. “Some had even been excluded from their family cards [KK] for the same reason, making them ineligible for health services and insurance provided by the government.”“That’s why we proactively come to them. At the Posyandu everyone can get the same services regardless of their residence status,” he said, adding that Posyandu volunteers would help them get registered in the SIKS-NG and obtain ID cards.Ken said that Posyandu for people with disabilities could easily be established in other villages and subdistricts, as long as the respective local officials had the will to do so. Topics :last_img read more

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Australian Open: Nadal shows caring side with kiss for blushing ballgirl

first_img The Spanish world number one was in the throes of wrapping up his second round clash on Rod Laver Arena against Argentine Federico Delbonis when the unfortunate girl found herself in his firing line. Nadal went over to check how she was and gave her a quick peck on the cheek for good measure, leaving the youngster blushing. Loading… Read Also: Aussie Open: Nadal labours past Delbonis to reach third round“For her it was not a good moment, I was so scared for her, the ball was quick and straight on her,” Nadal said after the match, giving her his headband as a momento.“She’s a super brave girl. It has been one of the more scary moments of my career. I’m very happy she is good. She is brave. Well done.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentMind-Bending Technology That Was Predicted Before It Appeared11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopWhat Happens When You Eat Eggs Every Single Day?9 Iconic Roles That Could Have Been Played By Different Actors10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWhat Is A Black Hole And Is It Dangerous For Us All?9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth18 Beautiful Cities That Are Tourist Magnets6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Animecenter_img Advertisement Rafael Nadal melted hearts at the Australian Open on Thursday, rushing to console a ballgirl and kissing her on the cheek after one of his fearsome shots ricocheted off her.last_img read more

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Lakers lose 100-95 to Golden State Warriors in Beijing

first_imgBEIJING — David Lee scored 31 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 100-95 preseason win over a Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday in China.Stephen Curry added 24 points for the Warriors, while Andrew Bogut had 14 rebounds and nine points. Lee finished 12 of 16 from the field.“The way it’s supposed to work is that we can get some stuff on the inside early in the game and that will open up the outside for guys like Steph to shoot 3s as the game goes on,” the center said.Nick Young led the Lakers with 18 points. Pau Gasol had 15 points and Chris Kaman scored 14 with 10 rebounds. Golden State coach Mark Jackson said Curry has been healthy the entire offseason.“I thought tonight for the first time in a long time he had a rhythm and he was the best player on the floor,” Jackson said. “It was great to see and we expect tremendous (things) from him throughout the course of this season.”Curry said the team played “probably our best half in the second half all preseason.” Although Bryant made the trip to China, he’s sitting out the games to nurse a torn Achilles tendon and an ailing right knee. He was clearly missed by the Chinese fans, who chanted his name throughout the game.Gasol said the Lakers faded defensively in the third quarter without their star.“We don’t know when Kobe’s going to get back,” Gasol said. “But until that point we just have to play hard as a team as we’ve been doing, and making sure we can’t wait for him to get back and everything to fall into place at that point.”The Lakers play a second exhibition game in Shanghai on Friday.The Warriors trailed 11 points at the end of the third quarter, but tied the score at 84 with just over seven minutes remaining on a 3-pointer by Curry and never trailed again.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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