First phase of Sturgeon refinery approved

Partners in the North West Redwater Partnership have approved construction of the first phase of the Sturgeon bitumen refinery in the Industrial Heartland area of Alberta (OGJ Online, Jan. 28, 2010). The facility will be the world’s first refinery integrating gasification of residual oil with carbon-dioxide capture in its initial design.

Capacity of the first phase, estimated to cost $5.7 billion, will be 50,000 b/d. The facility will capture 1.2 million tonnes/year of CO2 to be sold for use in enhanced oil recovery. Construction is to start in spring of 2013 and take 3 years.

Partners are North West Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Upgrading Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

Under 30-year processing agreements, Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission, an agent of the province of Alberta, will supply 75% of the feedstock. CNRL will supply the rest. The suppliers will receive proportionate shares of the products.

Two further phases with capacities of 50,000 b/d each are envisioned for the refinery, near Redwater in Sturgeon County, about 45 km northeast of Edmonston.

The main product will be ultralow-sulfur diesel. CO2 capture is planned in each phase.

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