A $210 million project in the works at Keyera Corp. Rimbey Gas Plant will bump up the plant’s processing capacity and may result in additional temporary jobs for area residents.
The project includes the installation of a new turbo expander unit with the capacity to handle 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and the construction of a 34-kilometre, six-inch diameter ethane pipeline to connect to the Alberta Ethane Gathering System.
The new expander will allow Keyera to recover more than 90 per cent of the ethane and other natural gas liquids from the raw gas stream at the Rimbey Gas Plant.
John Cobb, vice-president Investor Relations for Keyera, said the expander unit and pipeline is being built in response to the tremendous level of activity in the Rimbey area.
“The geology is very exciting,” he said. “There is a tremendous level of activity. Keyera is a service business and we value added services and being responsive to our customers’ needs.”
“We are excited about this expansion opportunity,” said David Smith, president and chief operating officer of Keyera. “With increased liquids-rich drilling activity in the area, raw gas processing capacity with deep-cut liquids extraction capability is in demand.”
Cobb said the project is now in the planning stages with start up expected in late 2014.
During the construction phase, expected to peak in around the first quarter of 2014, about 200 tradespeople will be working on site to complete the project.
Once the project is in place, employee numbers will return to status quo.
Cobb said the perimeters of the gas plant won’t change when the turbo expander unit is in place.
Initially, the turbo expander will be run in place of the existing lean oil recovery system at the Rimbey Gas Plant, but future demand could dictate that they both be operational.
“If the demand is there in the future, there would be an opportunity to run both the lean oil system and the turbo expander unit at a relatively low capital cost,” said Cobb
The Rimbey Gas Plant is Keyera’s largest natural gas processer and a key energy complex in west central Alberta. With licensed raw gas processing capacity of more than 400 million cubic feet per day and more than 2,500 kilometres of gathering pipelines, the plant’s extensive capture area allows it to provide energy processing services to a large number of producers in the area.