Heavy Oil Science Centre - Overburden

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Upgrader Utilities Plant

The purpose of the Utilities Plant is to provide utility commodities: steam, instrument air, utility air, fuel gas, emergency power, conditioned boiler feed water, utility water and nitrogen for distribution to all areas of the Upgrader.

Three power boilers in the Utilities Plant generate high pressure, super heated steam which is distributed facility wide and used directly by turbine drivers or reduced in pressure and used In processing applications. Water for steam production is drawn from the North Saskatchewan River through the City of Lloydminster facilities, softened, filtered and demineralized. 

During normal operation some of the steam requirements are met by waste heat boilers in the various processing plants. Three compressors in the Utilities Plant provide the entire site with compressed air. The air is filtered and dried prior to distribution to two separate systems, one of which supplies control instruments exclusively and the other for utility and maintenance purposes.

Liquid nitrogen is delivered to a storage vessel at the Utilities Plant. A steam heated exchanger vaporizes and pressurizes the nitrogen vapour to a point where plant wide distribution can be achieved. Sweet gas is routed to a mix drum at the Utilities Plant where it is combined with purchased natural gas and distributed to the power boilers and heaters throughout the site.

Purchased natural gas is also distributed plant wide on a separate system and used for purging and blanketing of process and storage vessels and also as feed for the Hydrogen Plant. A co-generation plant has been built. This plant supplies the electricity needs of the Upgrader and also sell surplus electricity to the SaskPower grid. .

Four emergency power generators located at the site provide sufficient emergency power to safely shut down the process units and maintain some essential services in the event of a prolonged power outage.