Open house on new refinery

By Geoff Lee

February 23, 2017 12:00 AM

PLANS INCLUDE JOBS New asphalt refinery could mean hundreds and hundreds of construction jobs, with an additional 50 full time positions once the new facility is built. FILE LLS PHOTO

Two sessions will take place to discuss new facility

Husky Energy’s plans to build a new asphalt refinery directly south of the Lloydminster Husky Upgrader in the RM of Wilton will be available for public review.
An open house on the proposed project will be held on March 1 with two sessions at the Wild Rose Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m.
The new facility would double Husky’s asphalt refining capacity to 60,000 barrels a day and would be an additional facility to the existing Husky Asphalt Refinery in Alberta.
If approved, Husky estimates about 800 people would be employed at the peak of the construction phase and about 50 full-time jobs once it’s operational.
“It is important to note that no sanction decision has been taken at this point and the project is subject to regulatory approval,” said Kim Guttormson, Husky spokesperson.
She said the company is evaluating a number of factors as they move this location forward for more detailed review, including economics, business integration and physical location.
“The project is in the early stages and engineering work is progressing,” said Guttormson.
Husky noted the project would also provide additional direct and indirect employment opportunities in the area, increased business for local services and tax revenue for municipal and provincial governments.
The open house will include representatives from Husky’s various business units, including downstream and environment units to answer questions.
“The open house is designed for people to walk through and ask questions; there is no formal presentation,” said Guttormson.
Terry Kashuba, a business analyst and the founder of BrainBlender Technologies Inc. in Lloydminster is certain Husky is looking at a different kind of system for the refinery.
“I know that Husky’s been looking at some different avenues because the federal and provincial governments are looking at emissions,” he said.
Kashuba said they are looking at “having a renewable mix in that play so having a bio crude added into that mix, so they expand without having the liabilities” of emissions.
“The thing is they’re still reviewing that so they’re still looking at what’s going to be possible,” he said.
Husky has said refining heavy oil into asphalt with the expansion is an additional 30,000 barrels of oil that doesn’t require any pipeline capacity.
The impetus for the project is the growing thermal heavy oil production in the region and the need for asphalt.
“There is a growing demand in North America for high quality asphalt and heavy oil from the Lloydminster area is an ideal source as it requires less additives,” said Guttormson.
“This project would double our asphalt capacity and provide a home for our growing thermal production.”
Husky is also the largest producer of asphalt in North America and makes about five per cent of all asphalt used in North America.
The economics of asphalt are also positive.
Husky’s annualized realized asphalt margins have consistently ranged between $20 and $25 a barrel for the past few years.

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