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  • Construction nearly complete on Sturgeon Refinery
    édité le 27/03/2018

Construction nearly complete on Sturgeon Refinery
The construction workforce at the Sturgeon Refinery site is on the final push toward completion. Finishing construction is the next big milestone on the way to full operations.

The refinery is made up of ten large units. Eight of the ten are constructed and in various stages of commissioning and start up. Each unit has a team of experienced personnel to ensure the equipment is running properly, procedures are validated, and performance is monitored. Cold weather during the winter months provided key learnings to ensure the refinery is ready for operating efficiently throughout Alberta’s four seasons.

The two units still under construction include the LC Finer, which processes some of the heaviest fractions of bitumen, as well as the gasifier, which collects CO₂ produced in the refining process, reducing the carbon footprint of our end product. Remaining work on these two units mainly includes electrical heat tracing, insulation, and scaffolding. Target completion is this spring, at which time commissioning and start up will be the focus.


This past December, the Sturgeon Refinery celebrated the production of first diesel. Final product began shipping through pipeline to Pembina just south of our refinery for distribution to our customers via truck and rail.

At the current stage of construction, the refinery is able to process synthetic crude oil into diesel and other value added products. As part of commissioning and start up, a partially upgraded feedstock such as synthetic crude allows for testing and adjustments in the units that are functioning. Once the refinery is fully operational, it will use bitumen feedstock to complete the entire refining process from start to finish.


Since 2011, over 50 million hours have been worked on the project. For the average person who works a regular 40 hour week for 52 weeks a year, it would take over 24,000 years to work that many hours. At peak construction, over 8,000 workers were on site every day, with that number dropping to approximately 2,500 people per day currently. The majority of those are involved in finishing construction activities. Various positions required for long term operations still need to be hired, though most of the 400+ people are already in place.

With a substantial decrease in workforce numbers, the bussing program came to an end in December. All totalled, the kilometres logged by the busses equal over 350 trips around the earth – that’s one per day for nearly a year.

About the North West Redwater Sturgeon Refinery

Alberta’s newest stand-alone refinery—the first to be built in more than 30 years. As part of project execution, North West Redwater Partnership (NWR) requires excellence in health, safety and environmental (HSE) performance with the expectation that individuals working at the Sturgeon Refinery Project site will be in full compliance with all applicable legislative requirements as well as NWR HSE objectives, policies, practices, standards, guidelines, procedures and rules.

The project is located on land approximately 45km north-east of Edmonton, immediately west of Agrium’s Redwater Fertilizer Operation in Sturgeon County.

The location offers numerous advantages, including close proximity to major crude oil and diluent pipelines, established infrastructure, and a stable and skilled regional work force. Further, there are several opportunities for product synergies with other industrial plants in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.

This location is also ideal to form a foundation for future eco-industrial development based on essential feedstocks produced from upgrading and refining bitumen. We expect the products we produce will encourage the development of downstream petrochemical industries.

Origine : Communiqué NWR

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