Saskatchewan

Gibson Energy says Sask. incentive helping reduce emissions at its Moose Jaw refinery

Gibson Energy completed a $20 million expansion in June to increase the amount of barrels it can output every day. Even though production has increased, the company said emission rates have remained the same.

Gibson Energy says $20M expansion focused on reusing 'waste heat' in refinery

Gibson Energy's Moose Jaw refinery recently underwent a $20 million expansion. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

An oil-processing plant in Moose Jaw is the first to benefit from an incentive program launched in 2017 to develop Saskatchewan's energy sector. 

Gibson Energy's heavy crude processing facility refines products such as asphalt and distillate. 

In June, the Calgary-based company completed a $20 million expansion to increase the amount of barrels it can output every day. Even though production has increased, the company said emission rates have remained the same.

Michael Lindsay, the company's senior vice-president of operations and engineering, said a big part of the expansion was recovering and reusing "waste" heat from products coming out of the refinery.

"You don't need new heat to bring in, which means you don't need heaters, you don't need gas or burners," Lindsay said. 

Premier Scott Moe said the project was eligible, and the first to apply, for the provincial government's Oil and Gas Processing Investment Incentive

It provides a 15 per cent transferrable royalty or freehold tax credit to projects deemed eligible by the province.

The credit can be used, but is not limited, to support improved greenhouse gas emissions management projects for oil and gas producers.

"The energy industry in general has had a rough ride the last few years, and we've been very much working with industry," Moe said. "To sustain the volumes we have, but also opportunities to expand those volumes and expand our environmental initiative as well."

The government said eligible projects must be either a refinery, an upgrading facility, a gas commercialization project or other value-added facilities — including helium processing, petrochemicals and carbon capture, storage and utilization for enhanced oil recovery.

The province also requires the project result in a "significant increase in processing capacity," and have a minimum of $10 million in eligible costs. 

Lindsay said the incentive makes completing a project like the Gibson Energy expansion "much easier."

"Having some certainty on what the return is on the project absolutely increases the chance of the project going ahead," he said. 

According to the provincial government, the Gibson Energy expansion project provided "new opportunities" for more than 40 local workers and subcontractors. 

With files from Marie-Christine Boullione

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