Open house wows 'em

By Geoff Lee

March 7, 2017 12:00 AM

REFINED CONFAB Just 20 minutes into Husky Energy's first open house at the Wildrose Pavilion on March 1, a crowd of about 50 people came to check out the information displays and talk with Husky reps. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Husky Energy’s open house on its proposed asphalt refinery project left some of the people who attended wanting the project to start tomorrow.
The refinery, to be located directly south of the Lloydminster Husky Upgrader, will create 800 construction jobs at peak and 50 full time jobs during operations.
“Anytime you can get an economy going and more people working and a new plant, I think it’s very positive,” said city Coun. Glenn Fagnan at the Wild Rose Pavilion venue on March 1.
“I think it’s going to positive for Lloydminster and positive for the region.”
Husky spokesperson Kim Guttormson said the project is expected to be considered for sanction this year, noting there is no set timeframe for a final decision or costs.
“We are still in the early engineering and it hasn’t been sanctioned so we can’t put a dollar figure on it yet.”
If approved, the project will bring increased business for local services and increased tax revenue for municipal and provincial governments.
“I think it’s certainly welcomed by the city and the residents here,” added Fagnan.
He was one of more than 180 people to attend two sessions about the project.
“We appreciate that so many people had an interest in the project and made time to learn more about it,” said Guttormson.
The proposed asphalt refinery is expected to process 30,000 barrels of heavy crude per day to produce 15,000 bpd of various grades of asphalt along with condensate and other products.
The facility would be in addition to the existing 15,000 bpd asphalt refinery in Lloydminster.
Guttormson said Husky is advancing the location option for further review.
“There are some advantages to having it at the upgrader and one of those is the integration of services so utilities, the railway, the roads in the area,” she said.
A 3-D model of the facility showed a footprint of storm water ponds, a process area and a zone for product tank storage.
Open house visitor and retiree Clark Bunko liked what he saw of the site plans.
“It works fairly well with the upgrader for supplying a lot of their needs, the steam and the electricity and stuff,” he said.
“It seems like a well thought out idea that they’ve actually put it right beside the upgrader.”
Bunko also commented that it will create jobs in Lloydminster, especially during the construction phase with workers to be bussed from Lloydminster to the project site to reduce traffic.
Products will be transported to market by rail.
One of the key components of the proposal is minimizing sulphur dioxide emissions that will be captured in the final asphalt and intermediate products.
“We’re doing a number of measures to try to minimize the emissions, so one of the things is all the heaters will have low NOx (nitrogen oxide) burners, which will help minimize emissions,” said Guttormson
Less natural gas will be combusted as well.
“Anywhere asphalt is being stored or loaded we have vapour recovery units, so that should reduce odours,” added Guttormson.
Ground disturbance and the overall footprint will be minimized through shared utilities with the upgrader including electric power.
“We have power in the area; it’s really for this particular project, it will be a matter of re-routing existing lines,” said Jim Harris an account manager for SaskPower.
Harris works closely with his client Husky on the asphalt refinery project and the company’s thermal oil plants.
“So I wanted to come up and see what type of reception they were getting from the people of Lloydminster and also to show them our interest as a Crown Corp in helping them succeed in their projects up here,” said Harris.
He noted there will be “terrific benefits” to the community with the construction of the refinery.
Aubrey Hughes who retired from Husky 27 years ago, said it will fill up some of the empty apartments in the city.
“Lloydminster’s always done good by Husky,” he said.

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