Contract let for Alberta bitumen refinery

North West Redwater Partnership (NWRP) has let a contract to General Electric International Inc. subsidiary GE Water & Process Technologies, Trevose, Pa., to provide wastewater treatment and recycling technologies to help NWRP meet Canada’s stringent provincial water regulations at its greenfield bitumen refinery now under construction in Sturgeon County, about 45 km northeast of Edmonton, Alta. (OGJ Online, Jan. 28, 2010).

As part of the contract, GE will deliver a series of water treatment systems designed to treat and recycle process wastewater so that the refinery can reduce its use of freshwater from and effluent discharge into the North Saskatchewan River, GE said.

In addition to systems for containing the refinery’s surface-water runoff in retention ponds for use in refining processes, the order includes ultrafiltration and membrane bioreactor technology that will enable NWRP to treat and recycle its process water multiple times for reuse at the plant, the service provider said.

Alongside providing chemistry and on-site technical support to confirm that the refinery’s water-balance targets are met, GE also will deliver ongoing maintenance services to ensure reliability of the water system assets, including protecting them from deposition and corrosion, the company said.

A value of the contract was not disclosed.

To be completed in three phases, Phase 1 of the Sturgeon refinery will have a processing capacity of 50,000 b/d and will capture 1.2 million tonnes/year of carbon dioxide from refining processes, which is to be sold as feedstock to Enhance Energy Inc., Calgary, for use in enhanced oil recovery.

Following startup of Phase 1 in 2017, two further phases with capacities of 50,000 b/d each also are planned for the refinery.

Once fully commissioned, the Sturgeon refinery will operate at a capacity of 150,000 b/d to produce diesel, diluent, and other bitumen products for both Canadian and global markets.

NWRP, a joint venture of North West Refining Inc. (formerly North West Upgrading Inc.), Calgary, and Canadian Natural Upgrading Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., also of Calgary.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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