CALGARY, Sept. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - North West Redwater Partnership (NWR), a partnership between North West Upgrading Inc. (NWU) and Canadian Natural Upgrading Limited (CNUL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural), today celebrated the recent ground-breaking of the Sturgeon Refinery, located in the Alberta Industrial Heartland. The event took place at the future site of the refinery, and included speeches from the Honourable Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta; Ian MacGregor, Chairman of NWU and Doug Bertsch, VP Regulatory and Stakeholder Affairs, NWR.
"This refinery, the first to be built in Canada in almost 30 years, is further proof of the can-do attitude that Albertans embody," said Premier Alison Redford. "By supplying a reliable source of bitumen from the Bitumen-Royalty-In-Kind program, our government is working with industry to grow the value-added sector as part of our Building Alberta Plan."
"This has been a project years in the making, and we are committed to doing it right," said Ian MacGregor, Chairman of NWU. "The competitive advantage we have in Alberta is undeniable - vast resources, entrepreneurial DNA and government and business sectors who work together to effectively produce enormous and sustained economic growth."
The Sturgeon Refinery will add significant value to Alberta's bitumen resources in a responsible and sustained manner; generating high margins on raw bitumen by incorporating a one-step upgrading and refining process to ultra-low sulphur diesel, while managing CO2 emissions through a fully integrated carbon-capture and storage infrastructure that will capture, transport and use CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at previously depleted oil fields.
"In a carbon constrained world, cost effective CO2 management is just as important for Alberta's resource development as our refinery. They work together." added MacGregor.
"We knew when we began this project, which is unlike anything previously seen in this province, that there would be challenges every step of the way," said Doug Bertsch, VP Regulatory and Stakeholder Affairs, NWR. "We have reached this milestone by ignoring the criticism, believing in our vision and as a direct result of the hard-work, diligence and tenacity of our partners and supporters. By maximizing the value-add while using leading environmental practices, this will be a refinery that paves the way for future Canadian refining projects, and that all Albertans can be proud of."
NWR has thirty year processing agreements for 100 per cent of its Phase 1 feedstock capacity. The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Corporation, an agent of the Province of Alberta, will supply 75 per cent of the feedstock volume and Canadian Natural will supply the balance of the feedstock volume. Each party will own their proportionate share of the products produced by the Sturgeon Refinery and sold into the market. This project represents the first of three phases of 50,000 barrels per day accumulating to a 150,000 barrel per day plan to convert bitumen to high value products, primarily ultra-low sulphur diesel for local and export markets.
Over 1,000 people are currently working on the NWR project and that is expected to increase to 8,000 people during peak construction, including sub-suppliers and module fabrication yards.
About North West Redwater Partnership
North West Redwater Partnership was formed in 2010 as a joint partnership between NWU and a wholly owned subsidiary of CNRL to build the world's first bitumen refinery which will combine the already proven processes of gasification technology with an integrated carbon capture and storage solution. The Sturgeon Refinery, which will be located 45 km north-east of Edmonton, is also the first bitumen refinery to sell its CO2 for the purposes of enhanced oil recovery. NWR could expand capacity to convert 150,000 barrels of bitumen directly to fuels and other high value, low sulphur products required in the Alberta and world markets in three equal phases of which Phase 1 has now been sanctioned. The process is also optimized to minimize the environmental footprint of the facility and make the bitumen upgrading/refining process sustainable in Alberta. For more information, please visit our website at www.nwrpartnership.com.
SOURCE: North West Redwater Partnership
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