Suncor Energy building power cogeneration at its Oil Sands Base Plant
The $1.4 billion natural gas powered cogeneration project will provide steam generation required for Suncor’s extraction and upgrading operations and generate 800 megawatts (MW) of power.
Calgary-based energy company Suncor has announced that it is replacing its coke-fired boilers with two cogeneration units at its Oil Sands Base Plant. The project cost is estimated to be $1.4 billion and is projected to be in-service in the second half of 2023.
The natural gas powered cogeneration units will provide steam generation required for Suncor’s extraction and upgrading operations and generate 800 megawatts (MW) of power.
The power will be transmitted to Alberta’s grid, providing reliable, baseload, low-carbon power, equivalent to approximately 8% of Alberta’s current electricity demand. This project will increase demand for natural gas from Western Canada.
Replacing the coke-fired boilers with cogeneration will reduce GHG emissions associated with steam production at Base Plant by approximately 25%.
It is also expected to reduce sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 45% and 15% respectively.
The cogeneration units will eliminate the need for a flue gas desulphurization (FGD) unit, which is currently used to reduce sulphur emissions associated with coke fuel. Decommissioning the FGD unit will reduce the volume of water the company withdraws from the Athabasca River by approximately 20%.