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September 2007

Vol. 12, No. 39 Week of September 30, 2007

Fort Hills upgrader to use wastewater

Fort Hills Energy L.P. has entered into an agreement with Sturgeon County and the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission to use treated wastewater from ACRWC as industrial process water at the so-called Fort Hills Sturgeon Upgrader, located about 25 miles northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, Fort Hills said Sept. 25.

The facility is being built to process bitumen from the Fort Hills oil sands mine near Fort McMurray into synthetic crude oil.

Phase one upgrader production is expected to be 140,000 barrels per day. Regulatory approval is anticipated in 2008, with upgrading operations to begin in 2012.

A feasibility study on the project is complete and detailed engineering has begun. When the wastewater project is fully up and running, it will be expected to meet all of the Sturgeon upgrader’s industrial water needs, Fort Hills said.

“This is an environmental home run for the Fort Hills partnership,” the company said. Unlike many industrial processes, the upgrader site will run fully on wastewater and send the upgrader’s wastewater back to ACRWC for further treatment and redistribution. Instead of taking fresh water from the North Saskatchewan River for the Sturgeon upgrader, the Fort Hills partnership plans to use recycled water.

“This is a great example of industry and government working together to come up with a win-win solution — for the Fort Hills project, for the water commission, for the county and, especially, for the environment,” said Neil Camarta, Petro-Canada’s senior vice president of oil sands. “It’s not just good business; it’s simply the right thing to do.”

This new project expands on experience and learnings gained at the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Facility project where Petro-Canada, the City of Edmonton and Strathcona County provide treated wastewater to Petro-Canada’s Edmonton refinery, Fort Hills said.

—Ray Tyson






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