New technology unveiled at Rimbey Gas Plant

  • Oct. 6, 2009 6:00 p.m.

Alberta Minister of Energy Mel Knight (left) and Keyera chairman and former premier Peter Lougheed jointly turn a valve to officially open a new ethane extraction project at the Rimbey Gas Plant. The ceremony was held last Thursday afternoon.

Staff reporter

Another step was taken last week to ensure Alberta’s resources are extracted to their full potential with the official opening of a new ethane extraction project at the Rimbey Gas Plant.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, the Keyera facility now has the ability to extract approximately 5,000 barrels of ethane per day from the gas plant’s raw gas stream, which in turn, will be sold to a major provincial petrochemical producer under a long-term contract.

“This is a great afternoon for me because what we’re here for is to celebrate the opening of the Rimbey plant’s extraction facility that removes ethane from their gas stream here,” said Minister of Energy Mel Knight. “The Alberta government had some involvement here because we instituted an incentive program back in 2006 that has worked its way through and what we see here today is a direct result.”

Knight said the new technology will not only provide many new future employment opportunities in the industry, but will also act as a precursor to carbon capture and sequestration projects.

“The thing is we know that there’s been a lot of concern around conventional methods not being able to compete anymore, particularly on the natural gas side,” Knight said. “On the oil side, we’re so happy to see things like the Keyera project because with the CO2 they’re taking out here, we believe that using that for tertiary recovery is an opportunity for huge expansion here in Alberta to get at oil that we leave in the ground.”

According to Knight, conventional methods of extraction leave approximately 70 per cent of reserves in the ground.

The Rimbey plant extraction project involved modifications to existing natural gas liquids fractionation process and the installation of new compression equipment along with a 32-kilometre pipeline through central Alberta to deliver extracted ethane to the purchaser.

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