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Oil Refining Shell Canada, Scotford, AB

A process integration study allowed identifying several energy-saving projects at Shell Canada’s upgrader located in Scotford, Alberta. The plant uses hydrogen-addition technology to upgrade bitumen into a variety of synthetic crude oils.

Process integration goes well beyond traditional energy audits by taking a systematic look at all the ways in which energy is used throughout a facility and how its various system components interact with one another. This structured approach enabled Shell Canada to have a more global and thorough vision of its processes and to identify the specific areas where improvements need to be made in order to save energy.

Process Integration Studies: For a Better Understanding of Energy-Saving Opportunities

As part of its energy strategy, Shell Canada performed a process integration in order to identify the plant areas where potential energy-saving opportunities could be exploited. The study, conducted in 2008, targeted more specifically the plant’s following key units:

  • The atmospheric and vacuum distillation process units
  • The residue hydro-conversion unit
  • The steam and electricity generation utility systems

The study also examined the possibility of site-wide energy integration between units. In all, 12 energy-saving projects were identified and assessed, mainly in the plant’s primary process units. The Shell Project Development group subsequently carried out a more advanced analysis to determine the best options among 3 possible projects identified in the atmospheric and vacuum distillation process and 2 projects in the steam and electricity generation area.

The process integration study allowed a more comprehensive understanding of the real energy-saving opportunities left to exploit at the Scotford plant. The approach used by Shell Canada to perform its strategic energy overview also allowed making comparisons with similar facilities and quickly considering improvement opportunities, which undoubtedly proves to be a useful methodology for all companies seeking to improve their energy efficiency.

For a study at its premises, Shell Canada was able to receive a process integration study incentive from Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE).

For more information about this project or for additional information about process integration and Pinch analysis, see the:

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