Imperial marks official start-up of new Mahkeses facility at Cold Lake

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 21 May 2015 07:32

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June 3rd 2003

Imperial Oil Limited today hosted the official opening of its plant and field facilities for the Mahkeses (Phases 11-13) project, a major expansion of its heavy-oil operations at Cold Lake, Alberta.

The $650-million project includes plant and field facilities for steam generation, bitumen production and co-generation of electrical power. The 170-megawatt co-generation facility uses natural-gas-fired turbines to generate electricity, and heat-recovery units to generate steam for the bitumen-recovery process.

"Successful completion and start-up of the Mahkeses project is a significant milestone in the phased development of the Cold Lake resource, which is Imperial's largest source of crude oil production and a significant contributor to Canada's energy industry," said K.C. Williams, senior vice-president and director of Imperial. "The Mahkeses project team's first priority was safety. Over four million work hours without a single lost-time incident, for both employees and contractors during project execution and start-up, speaks for itself. The fact that the project was completed on-budget and on-schedule in late 2002 is a credit to the entire project team.

"The Mahkeses plant is the flagship of the Cold Lake operation," Williams said. "It incorporates the best of everything we've learned during nearly four decades of pilot work and commercial operations at Cold Lake — from the point of view of technology, reliability and environmental protection."

Government of Alberta approval for the Mahkeses project was received in 1999. The company appropriated funding for the project in July 2000.

Construction began in 2000 and was completed in late 2002. The project involved a peak construction workforce of more than 1,000.

Mahkeses will add an average of 30,000 barrels a day of production over its estimated 25-year operating life. With the addition of Mahkeses, Imperial operates 13 phases of commercial bitumen production at its Cold Lake project, with May 2003 production averaging 140,000 barrels a day.

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