Alberta bitumen refinery wraps construction, prepares for bitumen feed

North West Redwater Partnership (NWRP) has completed construction of the first 80,000-b/d phase of its proposed three-phased greenfield bitumen refinery in Sturgeon County, about 45 km northeast of Edmonton, Alta.

North West Redwater Partnership (NWRP) has completed construction of the first 80,000-b/d phase of its proposed three-phased greenfield bitumen refinery in Sturgeon County, about 45 km northeast of Edmonton, Alta. (OGJ Online, Jan. 28, 2010).

With construction on the last of the refinery’s ten major units fully wrapped in May, operator North West Refining Inc. (NWR) is progressing with the staggered commissioning of all remaining units at the site as it prepares to switch over from synthetic crude to bitumen feedstock for production of low-sulfur diesel in the coming months, the operator said.

The refinery used partially upgraded synthetic crude feedstock as part of the commissioning and startup process for the majority of its previously completed units, which have been producing diesel since December 2017 (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2017).

Once all three 80,000-b/d phases of the refinery are commissioned, the Sturgeon refinery will process 240,000 b/d of Canadian bitumen feedstock to produce ultralow-sulfur diesel, diluent, and other bitumen products for both domestic and global markets.

NWRP is a joint venture of NWR (formerly North West Upgrading Inc.), Calgary. Canadian Natural Upgrading Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., is also of Calgary.

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