Canadian utility mixes oil and water

June 24, 2008 at 7:07 am | Posted in New Construction, New Technology | Leave a comment

NB Power’s (Fredericton, N.B.) 1,050-MW Coleson Cove station has received approval to begin a $475-million refurbishment that includes a fuel switch from heavy oil to Orimulsion, environmental equipment upgrades, and a new pipeline and offshore unloading system to deliver the fuel to the plant. The upgrades to the three identical units at the plant are required to meet new environmental standards that take effect in 2005. Coleson Cove, located in the Lorneville area of west Saint John, currently supplies over 30% of New Brunswick’s electrical power. The upgrade project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2004.

Orimulsion is a liquid fossil fuel consisting of 70% bitumen and 30% water. Bitumen is a highly viscous, naturally occurring petroleum hydrocarbon from the Orinoco belt region of Venezuela. To facilitate pumping and transportation (a larger pipeline to carry the additional mass flow is required), the natural bitumen must be mixed with water.

Coleson Cove will become the second powerplant in North America to use Orimulsion; NB Power has successfully used Orimulsion at its 300-MW Dalhousie station since 1994.

“The impact of Coleson Cove on the environment was a major factor in approving this project,” Environment and Local Government Minister Kim Jardine said. “The refurbishment will reduce SO2 emissions by 77%, particulate matter by 75%, and NOx by 70%. We can pay for the new NOx controls, flue gas desulphurization scrubbers, and wet electrostatic precipitator upgrades to the plant by switching fuel sources from heavy oil to Orimulsion.”

In addition to NB Power, other power producers firing Orimulsion include Energi E2 in Denmark; RWE Systems in Germany; Lithuanian State Power System; ENEL in Italy; Hokkaido Electric Power and Kashima Kita Electric Power in Japan; China National United Oil Corp in the People’s Republic of China; and PowerSeraya in Singapore.


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