Canadian agency reviews Kitimat refinery/540-MW cogeneration project

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency said July 12 that it commenced a federal environmental assessment for the proposed Kitimat Clean Refinery Project, an oil refinery project located north of Kitimat, British Columbia, that would include a 540-MW cogeneration component.

The agency is inviting the public to comment on which aspects of the environment may be affected by this project and what should be examined during the environmental assessment. This is the second of four opportunities for the public to comment on this project. Written comments must be submitted by Aug. 12.

Kitimat Clean Ltd. is proposing to construct and operate an oil refinery and associated infrastructure in the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District. The proposed Kitimat Clean Refinery Project will be comprised of a refinery, a rail yard, a tank farm, a refined fuel delivery pipelines corridor, and a marine terminal for product export.

The proposed Marine Terminal Site is located roughly 12 kilometers south of Kitimat on the west side of the Douglas Channel on provincial Crown land.

Kitimat Clean Ltd. is a privately held corporation. The principal contact person for the project is David Black, Chief Executive Officer/President, Kitimat Clean Ltd., 818 Broughton Street ,Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1E4,, Telephone 604.575.5794,

The refinery will process bitumen into fuel products, including gasoline, diesel, some ultra-low sulphur diesel, and jet fuel. Added byproducts will include butane, propane and sulphur pellets. The project will include:

  • Bitumen Receiving Facility including a rail yard and bitumen offloading facility, accessed via the Canadian National Railway (CN) mainline.
  • A Refinery capable of processing 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of bitumen to produce approximately 460,000 barrels per day (bpd) of value added fuel products. The refinery will have two identical refinery processing trains with each train having 50% capacity (or 200,000 bpd).
  • A Tank Farm containing 54 tanks of various capacity, ranging in size from 265,000 to 450,000 bbl per tank for the above-ground storage of bitumen, feedstock, processed hydrocarbons and intermediate products.
  • A 23 kilometer long Fuel Delivery Pipeline Corridor consisting of three 18” pipelines in a 45 meter wide right-of-way to transport processed fuel products to the Marine Terminal Site. 
  • A Marine Terminal Facility for loading refined products on Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) tankers for export. The terminal will consist of a single tanker berth that will be equipped to load fuel onto the VLCCs.

Supporting infrastructure for the project includes:

  • A Power and Cogeneration Facility consisting of two cogeneration plants powered by two gas turbine generators each generating up to 120 MW at ISO ambient conditions and four steam turbine generators, with each generator capable of producing a maximum of 75 MW. The total capacity would be up to 540 MW.
  • A third-party supplied natural gas pipeline tie-in to support power generation and refinery fuel requirements during Construction and Operations at the Refinery Site.
  • The project will tie into the existing 287-kV BC Hydro transmission line for its start-up electrical requirements and power supply to the Marine Terminal Site.

The two cogeneration plants will use refinery gas products, Fischer-Tropsch tail gas and natural gas to produce approximately 240 MW nominal electric power and about 690 tonnes (t) of High Pressure (HP) steam. Some of the HP steam will be used to drive large compressors and pumps in the refinery process units. The remaining excess HP steam from the cogens will be combined with HP steam from the refinery process to drive four steam turbine generators and generate up to 300 MW of electric power and low-pressure steam for refinery use. The cogens will be designed to run continuously during normal operation of the refinery to meet all of the refinery’s internal power requirements. The refinery is designed to be self-sufficient with no power imported from the BC Hydro grid during normal operations.

The initial stages of the project include conceptual and detailed engineering studies, and submissions of EA and permitting applications to the responsible regulatory authorities. The application for an EA Certificate is anticipated to be submitted by the end of Q2 2017. The proponent expects that EA approvals and permits for the project will be obtained by the end of 2018, followed by the commencement of pre-construction activities. Construction of the refinery will commence in Q1 2019 and is scheduled to take up to five years (2019-2023). Upon completion of construction, commissioning and startup of the refinery will take another six months prior to full operation of the refinery in 2024.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.