Sturgeon County – Williams Energy is considering building a propane de-hydrogenation (PDH) facility near Redwater. The proposed facility would convert propane recovered from off-gas processing into Propylene. The project value is estimated at $600-800 million and the facility would be the first of its kind in Canada.
“This proposed facility, in addition to the Williams’ expansion project, is great news for Sturgeon County. It will nurture long term sustainability for the region by ensuring we secure the most value from our raw resources for all Albertans. Most importantly, it will enable our residents to continue to live, work and play in Sturgeon County”, said Sturgeon County Mayor Donald Rigney in a release on the project.
The new facility will allow Williams to increase its production of polymer-grade propylene from its Canadian operations. Williams is the only company in Canada producing polymer-grade propylene, a valuable petrochemical feedstock used in plastics manufacturing.
“Sturgeon County is becoming one of Alberta’s fastest expanding industrial regions,” said Peter Tarnawsky, Sturgeon County’s Chief Administrative Officer, in the same release. “We are positioning for long term industrial growth and pleased that Williams Energy is once again, choosing to invest in Sturgeon County.”
Williams would mainly use the propane it recovers at its Redwater facility as feedstock for the new PDH facility. When oil and gas producers convert the Canadian oil sands into usable oil, the process produces a rich mixture of natural gas, NGLs and olefins. The Williams’ facility extract the off-gas mixture and return the clean-burning natural gas to oil sands producers for their operations, then transports the remaining mixtures to the Redwater facility for additional separation.
This announcement opens a new chapter for the petrochemical sector in Alberta, helps diversify our economy, creates markets at home for our energy products and helps ensure the long term sustainability of the region,” said Neil Shelly, Executive Director at Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association.
In 2011, Williams proposed an expansion project that would add a 151-foot tall “de-ethanizer” tower to strip off ethane/ethylene components. The project value was estimated at $230 Million.