Alberta Welcomes First New Refinery in 30 Years
Following some setbacks and increasing prices, Canada’s first new refinery in three decades is expected to come online in 2017. The new refinery, called Sturgeon, is northeast of Edmonton and will refine bitumen into low Sulphur diesel fuel. Though the project’s costs have steadily risen over its lifetime, reaching $8.5 billion, those close to the plan see it as a much needed investment in the region.
Once operational, the Sturgeon refinery will have a 50,000 barrel-per-day capacity, which can be expanded upon later. 75% of the resulting oil will be supplied through Alberta’s government.
The benefits of another Canadian oil refinery are many. This particular facility will advance sustainability in the industry thanks to state-of-the-art carbon capture technology. About two thirds of the carbon dioxide produced will be captured and put to use to recover additional oil from otherwise depleted wells. And the resulting diesel fuel will have lower emission levels on average than fuel produced in the U.S.
In addition, having another Canadian refinery means that less raw bitumen needs to be exported to the U.S. for processing. Keeping more of these resources within Canada adds value to the local economy. Not only are more jobs created and maintained in the country, but the end product of usable diesel is also more valuable.
Overall, a new Canadian refinery is good news for industry, and the economy as a whole. We look forward to documenting the progress of this project.