The notion that two heads are better than one or that many hands make light work is nothing new. In fact, the value of partnership has been quite clear to the Northeast Capital Industrial Association (NCIA) for some time.
NCIA has been harnessing the collective knowledge, goodwill, and expertise of its more than 20 member companies for more than a decade. Serving as a common voice for industry, the group has been a catalyst for collaborative work and partnerships that are making a profound difference in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. An example of this can be found in an innovative 10-year agreement between Aux Sable and Shell Canada.
Achieving Environmental Benefits
Launched in late 2011, the Offgas Processing Agreement ensures a long-term feedstock source for Aux Sable and is helping Shell to reduce its environmental footprint. The collaboration is mutually beneficial. Shell supplies the necessary upgrader and refinery offgas while Aux Sable transforms it by removing contaminants and Natural Gas Liquids to produce hydrogen, ethane, residue gas, and a propane-plus mix. All of the products are then returned to Shell via a 3 km pipeline.
“What we are doing essentially is taking a waste by-product and turning it into a valuable feedstock,” explains Operations Superintendent, Colin McEwen. “At the end of the day, it’s about getting the most out of our resources.”
The Shell Scotford site is home to an Uprader, Chemical Plant, Refinery and a Cogeneration plant, all of which have a combined footprint comparable in size to downtown Calgary. The switch to cleaner burning natural gas is good news. This move has trimmed Shell’s annual CO2 emissions by approximately 200,000 tonnes – the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road.
Many industries in the region are working together in partnership to manage and reduce environmental impacts including the North West Redwater Partnership (NWRP) site in Sturgeon County. Leading-edge environmental management initiatives were incorporated into Alberta’s newest stand-alone refinery along with important partnerships with other companies that reduce the environmental footprint in the region.