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Imperial to build largest renewable diesel facility in Canada


Plant expected to produce more than one billion litres of fuel a year using vegetable oils

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Imperial Oil Ltd. said it will spend $720 million to build Canada’s largest renewable diesel facility at its refinery near Edmonton, predicting the plant will be capable of producing more than one billion litres of fuel annually using vegetable oils from canola and soybean crops.

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Preparations and initial construction is already underway for the 20,000-barrel-per-day facility, which the company said will start production in 2025.

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“Imperial supports Canada’s vision for a lower-emission future, and we are making strategic investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations and to help customers in vital sectors of the economy reduce their emissions,” chief executive Brad Corson said in a statement Jan. 26. “The investment at our Strathcona refinery will deliver immediate benefits to the local economy, creating jobs and contributing to a lower-emission energy future for our employees, neighbours and communities.”

The Calgary-based oil major first proposed the project in August 2021 and has since inked an agreement with U.S.-based industrial company Air Products and Chemicals Inc. to secure a supply of low-carbon hydrogen.

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Air Products is building a low-carbon hydrogen production facility — also near Edmonton — that will produce hydrogen using carbon capture and storage (CCS) and will supply Imperial’s Strathcona refinery via pipeline.

The Imperial facility’s renewable diesel will primarily be produced from “locally sourced” vegetable crops, primarily canola, soy and sunflowers, the company said.

Imperial has estimated the project will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by three million tonnes, equivalent to taking approximately 650,000 cars off the road.

A significant portion of the renewable diesel produced from the facility will be shipped to British Columbia as a result of a partnership Imperial struck with the provincial government under its low-carbon fuel legislation.

More to come… Twitter: @mpotkins


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