Suncor base plant switching to natural gas

As some may not know, I am just a lowly vac truck driver full of second hand hearsay and unconfirmed speculation.

So as a(totally) reliable source of information I wanted to talk about something without giving away too much specific Information as it would probably  violate confidentiality agreements in my employment contract.

Suncor base plant is the largest bitumen extraction and upgrader in Alberta. It uses coke to generate electricity and steam for plant processing. The coke is a by product of upgrading bitumen and it's essentially a waste product and they have mountains of the stuff.

It appears that suncor is planning to retire the power house in a few years. The ground work is being laid to build a new co-gen and It will likely use natural gas instead.

My thoughts on this: it's likely purely an economic decision and has nothing to do with co2 emissions or climate change

The canadian  government will probably claim it was because of the hard cap on oil sands emmissions. And parade around and celebrate the end of an era of burning filthy old coke for power. 

In reality it would free up some carbon budget for suncor if you are trying to play that game. 

Envirotards will never be satisfied with anything short of base plant shutting down completely so dont even try to reason with them. 

Clearly suncor has no intentions of shutting down the plant if they are investing in a new power plant. 

 

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You can bet that there is going to be yet another market for the coke by-product, now being developed, that you do know know about.  I don't picture those Suncor guys just continuing to pile up more mountains of a waste product, setting themselves up for a much larger burden down the road in dealing with it.  Unless the Alberta govt is going to allow the mass burial of that coke back into the tar sands, underneath some layer of fresh sand, I don't see how they can continue to simply build ever larger mountains of the stuff and just leave it, abandoned, to weather and leach into the waterways. 

What else can that "coke" be used for?  And who are those customers? 

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8 minutes ago, Keith boyd said:

I am just a lowly vac truck driver full of second hand hearsay and unconfirmed speculation

Truck drivers have the best sources of information, way before anybody else.  You would think they were retired CIA guys with hidden microphones in the boardroom......

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3 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Truck drivers have the best sources of information, way before anybody else.  You would think they were retired CIA guys with hidden microphones in the boardroom......

You wouldn't believe some of the places I got into when i did long haul. I delivered  to canadian  military bases, I delivered supplies to underground facilities, I mean like backing the truck down a ramp and the dock is underground. 

As for mount coke pile in the valley of coke, suncor...its turning into an artificial desert made of coke its miles across. They supposedly export some to China but it's probably expensive to ship to the point it's not worth selling. Fort mcmurray is a long way from the ocean. 

Even though it's basically free fuel, scrubbing the emmissions is not free. The bag house is bigger then the boiler and the  bags constantly need changing. And there is fly ash which is disposed in a pond which adds costs, and the fly ash blows about and gets soot on everything. 

Natural gas does not have these issues. I am frankly tired of blowing black boogers out of my nose to be honest. 

 

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