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GE motors process Canadian oil sands

12th March 2013

GE supplies its 9000-RCM motors for new Alberta bitumen refinery

GE motors process Canadian oil sands
The refinery will produce clean diesel fuel by 2015, with less emissions and 30 per cent higher fuel efficiency than gasoline

General Electric (GE) will supply electric motors for a bitumen refinery in Canada, as companies seek to achieve a more sustainable development of Alberta’s oil sands.

Under the USD 14m contract, GE will supply its Series 9000-RCM large electric motors to drive the refinery’s reciprocating compressors and process crude bitumen with high levels of viscosity.

The refinery is located near Edmonton and is owned by the North West Redwater Partnership, a joint venture between North West Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Limited. 

The facility will produce 150,000 barrels per day and transform heavy crude from Alberta’s vast oil sands into clean-burning diesel fuel. It will also include a C02 management system which will minimise environmental impacts.

“The 150,000 barrels-per-day bitumen refinery will be the first to incorporate an integrated CO2 management system, setting an international precedent for responsible development,” GE said in a press release. According to the company, the facility is “the world’s first… specifically designed to reduce environmental impacts as it turns tarry bitumen crude into clean-burning diesel fuel”.

The refinery will produce clean diesel fuel by 2015, according to estimates, with less emissions and 30 per cent higher fuel efficiency than gasoline.

The main markets with a high demand for clean diesel fuel include North America, China, and south-east Asia.