The Alberta Utilities Commission on May 17 approved an application by Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Ltd. for a time extension to complete construction of Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the 219-MW Kearl Power Plant in the Kearl Oil Sands Project area.
Imperial has an approval to construct and operate the power plant that stipulated a completion date of Dec. 31, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2020, for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the power plant, respectively. Imperial applied on April 28 for approval to extend the Phase 2 completion date to Dec. 31, 2018, and the Phase 3 completion date to Dec. 31, 2022.
Imperial stated that, as part of the optimization of its mine development plans, the steam and power needs of the Kearl Oil Sands Project have been re-evaluated and additional heating would not be required in the near future. Imperial confirmed that it would continue to supply power to the Kearl Oil Sands Project through a combination of the existing 84-MW cogeneration facility (Phase 1 that was commissioned in early 2015) and power purchases from the Alberta Interconnected Electric System.
Imperial said that extending the Phase 2 and Phase 3 completion dates would enable it to wait for the government of Alberta to release the policy details and the implementation process for a new regulatory framework on climate change. It would also provide time for Imperial to conduct an assessment of potential impacts and to determine a viable configuration of cogeneration for the existing and upcoming mining and steam assisted gravity drainage projects.