The Power Of Cogeneration
Imperial started operation of a newly constructed cogeneration unit at Strathcona refinery in October 2020, increasing energy efficiency at the facility and helping reduce provincial greenhouse gas emissions.
In a refinery, cogeneration technology captures heat generated from the production of electricity that would normally go to waste and uses it to produce steam for use in refining operations. Electricity produced by the Strathcona cogeneration unit meets approximately 75 to 80 percent of the refinery’s needs, significantly decreasing energy consumption from the Alberta grid. The unit produces approximately 41 megawatts of power and reduces province-wide greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 112,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent to taking nearly 24,000 vehicles off the road annually.
The Strathcona cogeneration unit is Imperial’s third in Alberta, with cogeneration technology also used at the Kearl and Cold Lake oil sands operations. In 2019, those facilities contributed to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 860,000 tonnes, similar to having nearly 186,000 fewer passenger vehicles on the road each year. Imperial also uses cogeneration at its Ontario refineries in Sarnia and Nanticoke.
“Strathcona continues to be one of the safest, most reliable and competitive refineries in North America and now with our cogeneration capacity, one of the most energy efficient.”
Dave Oldreive, refinery manager