REGINA—The Co-op refinery complex in Regina is moving toward a more environmentally friendly way of working, with a waste-water improvement project.
The $200-million project will clean 100 per cent of the water the refinery uses, then convert it to steam to heat the refinery, create power, and to produce hydrogen.
Scott Banda, CEO of Federated Co-operatives Ltd., says the biggest incentive to starting the project was sustainability.
He says water is critical to the operation of the refinery, adding the monetary incentives are negligible.
Officials says the project will reduce the smell that can sometimes come off the wastewater ponds, and will reduce its reliance on fresh water by 28 per cent.
In 2013, the refinery finished an expansion that increased the amount of oil which could be processed, while at the same time increasing the amount of water the refinery needed.
Gilbert Le Dressay, vice-president, says it was a problem they needed to find a solution to.
“Once we have 100 per cent flow, and we’re happy that we can consistently hold the quality then we’ll start to commission the last phase where we actually recycle the water,” explains Le Dressay.
Once the project is fully up and running, it will reduce the amount of water the refinery uses to less than what was used before the expansion. It’s expected to be fully operational by fall.
The refinery is using technology developed by General Electric, with live bacteria, filtration units, and high efficiency reverse osmosis.
Once the project is finished, the refinery says it will be the only refinery in North America with the ability to clean and recycle its wastewater.