Sunday September 21, 2014

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Steel Reef discusses project

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The Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp offered more information on its proposed North Portal Gas Plant project during an open house May 1 at the RM of Coalfields office.

About 40 members of the public attended the session. Chief operating officer Austin Voss said people had concerns about dust and noise control, but Steel Reef has plans to address those issues, and most people were supportive once they learned the scope of the project.

There is a need for such a facility in southeast Saskatchewan, he said.

"Steel Reef is a midstream company, meaning we don't own any of our own production," said Voss. "We basically build and own facilities, like pipelines and gas plants, and charge a fee for service to the producers to process the gas through our facility.

"We've been working with producers out in that area who know that they have to start conserving the gas that is coming off of the oil batteries, rather than just flaring it, and we basically come up with a contract to build and construct the gas plant and pipelines, and allow that gas to be conserved."

The proposed gas plant would be constructed on a 15-acre parcel of land, about six kilometres northeast of North Portal. It will capture and process off-gas from local oil batteries, some of which is currently flared.

The gas from these batteries will be transported to the plant in a new pipeline network.

Hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and entrained natural gas liquids would be removed. The gas would be compressed, and transported to the TransGas/SaskEnergy gas system for distribution across the province.

The acid gas that is removed will be incinerated and released through a 240-foot tall exhaust stack. The resulting sulphuric oxide emissions will be below Saskatchewan air quality regulatory limits.

The project should be beneficial for the environment, Voss said.

"For the most part, people are excited to see this happen," said Voss. "It basically eliminates flaring."

Propane and butane will be trucked out of the facility, he said, but that will only add a couple of trucks a day to southeast Saskatchewan's highways.

The Ministry of Economy has already approved the project, and all the land has been acquired. Steel Reef needs rezoning approval from the RM of Coalfields before they can proceed; the open house was part of the rezoning process.

Up to half a dozen people would work at the plant.

If they receive the green light, Voss is optimistic that construction can start in June, so that the project can be operating by December 1.


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