Canadian energy company Imperial said it was investing upwards of $500 million on a facility that can make a type of diesel the industry considers renewable File photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Canadian petroleum company Imperial said Thursday it would invest half a billion dollars in producing a type of diesel that the industry considers renewable at an Alberta refinery.
Imperial said it would invest USD $560 million in the construction of a renewable diesel facility at its Strathcona refinery near Edmonton. With an expected design capacity of 6.3 million barrels annually, the facility will be the largest of its kind in the country.
Brad Corson, the head of Imperial, said the investment represents a down payment on Canadian efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time building a resilient, low-carbon economy.
"Imperial supports Canada's vision for a lower-emission future, and we are making strategic investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations and to help customers in vital sectors of the economy reduce their emissions," he said.
Imperial said it expects the diesel could reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by around 3 million tons per year, helping the Canadian economy reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Much of the product will be sent to nearby British Columbia.
To make the diesel, Imperial will draw on some of the hydrogen production processes, along with carbon capture and storage technology.
"The low-carbon hydrogen and biofeedstock will be combined with a proprietary catalyst to produce premium lower-emission diesel fuel and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to conventional fuels," Imperial explained.
Canada enjoys an abundance of natural resources, sitting on some of the largest crude oil deposits in the world, but its energy sector is transitioning to a cleaner future.
Canadian refiner Irving Oil announced plans recently to use the methane that comes from the decomposition of organic matter in landfills to make a type of natural gas that's considered renewable.
Meanwhile in Alberta, home to the giant Athabasca heavy crude oil deposit, provincial leaders are looking at ways to use hydrogen, a potent energy carrier and the most abundant element in the universe, in the transportation sector.
Imperial said construction of its renewable diesel facility is already underway and production is expected to begin within the next two years.