Transboundary notification: Project Eider Rock

(1) Name and address of proponent:
Project Eider Rock
c/o Irving Oil Limited
59 King Square North
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
E2L 1E6
Phone: 1 888-525-1777
Fax: 1 506-202-6334
eiderrock@irvingoil.com

(2) Contact for technical and design information:
Contact Person: Mr. Warren Long, P.Eng.
Director, Program Management Office
Telephone: (506) 202-4069
Fax: (506) 202-7193
Email: warren.long@irvingoil.com

(3) Brief description of project (major products, process, capacity, etc)
The Project involves the development of a new petroleum refinery, marine terminal, and associated land-based and marine-based infrastructure in Saint John, New Brunswick. The new refinery would be capable of processing up to 48,000 cubic metres per day (300,000 barrels per day) of crude oil and would be designed to produce a variety of petroleum products including diesel fuel, gasoline, petroleum coke and other petroleum products for the transportation fuel, home heating, and industrial energy markets in North America and elsewhere.

(4) Location of proposed facility (latitude and longitude coordinates, city/town, county and province:
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Latitude: 45° 19' N    
Longitude: 65° 53' W

(5) Distance to the Canada-U.S. border ( to the nearest kilometre):
Approximately 98 kilometres (60 miles)

(6) Estimated annual quantities of pollutants released to the atmosphere (tonnes/year):
An overall summary of the total predicted annual emissions for the operation phase of the project is provided below for selected contaminants of concern.  The annual totals include emissions from both fugitive and point sources, where applicable.

Sulphur Dioxide:
2340 tonnes/year
Nitrogen Oxides:
3250 tonnes/year
Carbon Monoxide:
3650 tonnes/year
Hydrogen Sulphide:
36 tonnes/year
Total Particulate Matter:
654 tonnes/year
PM10:
 363 tonnes/year
PM2.5:
307 tonnes/year
Ammonia:
100 tonnes/year      
Total VOC:
 854 tonnes/year

Additional details on emissions of these and other potential air contaminants are provided in the EIA report.

(7) List of combustion processes:
The proponent has committed to burning natural gas and refinery fuel gas rather than heavy fuel oils during the refining process. Where available, details on the combustion equipment for various process units are provided below.

  • Refinery unit - Heavy Oil Upgrader; 3 furnaces; 186,000 kW total heat input capacity, 416,000 m3/d maximum fuel usage
  • Refinery unit - Continuous Catalytic Reforming Unit; 1 furnace; 312,600 kW total heat input capacity, 700,000 m3/d maximum fuel usage
  • Refinery unit - Light Hydrotreater; 1 furnace; 33,400 kW total heat input capacity, 74,000 m3/d maximum fuel usage
  • Refinery unit - Medium Hydrotreater; 1 furnace; 43,400 kW total heat input capacity, 97,200 m3/d maximum fuel usage
  • Refinery unit - Hydrogen Plant; 1 furnace; 32,400 kW total heat input capacity, 725,800 m3/d maximum fuel usage

In addition, Irving Oil plans to construct and operate an on-site co-generation plant to produce up 172 MW of electricity and steam for the refinery. 

This plant will use one or two combustion gas turbines fuelled by natural gas and/or refinery fuel gas.

To supplement the steam produced by the co-generation plant, there are plans to construct a steam generation plant consisting of two 144,000 kg/h conventional steam generating boilers, also fuelled by natural gas and/or refinery fuel gas. 

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) may also be used at the co-generation plant or the steam plant during times when either of the preferred fuels listed above is not available.

(8) Description of emissions control equipment:
Irving Oil has committed to designing the project with the best available proven technology that is economically viable to minimize emissions of air contaminants and greenhouse gases.

Vapour recovery systems will be used to reduce vapour loss during storage, conveyance or transfer.

Two sulphur recovery units and two tail gas treatment units will be used to recover up to 99.8% of the sulphur from the refining process and produce liquid elemental sulphur for shipment to markets.  This should result in significant reductions in emissions of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide from the refinery.

The gas turbines of the co-generation plant will use low-NOx burners capable of limiting the NOx emission rate to 40-50ppmv.   The conventional boilers at the steam generation plant will also be equipped with low-NOx burners with a maximum emission rate of 250ppmv.

Continuous emission monitoring (CEM) systems may be installed on major combustion sources within the refinery to measure process efficiency and ensure compliance with emission limits in environmental legislation.

An ambient air quality monitoring network may also be provided to measure the ground-level concentration of contaminants in the area surrounding the refinery.

(9) Description of potential transboundary environmental effects on air quality:
The Regional Modelling Domain used for the dispersion modelling covered an area of 70 km east-west by 45 km north-south (44 miles X 28 miles) centred on the project location.  Beyond this area, the predicted ground-level concentrations of contaminants by the dispersion model were not expected to be distinguishable from background concentrations.  In the Final Terms of Reference for the project, the proponent stated that to determine the potential for transboundary environmental effects on air quality, several model runs would be conducted with an extended modelling domain to determine the predicted ground-level concentrations of criteria air contaminants in transboundary regions, including the Maine/US border area. 

Maximum predicted ground-level concentrations were compared with regulatory criteria at selected transboundary locations, including the closest point in Maine to the Project.  Based on the modelling results, the predicted concentrations at the Maine/US border were all less than 1% of the objectives, guidelines and standards. As a result, the predicted project contribution to transboundary environmental effects on air quality in the US border region would not be expected to be substantive.

Dispersion modelling used the CALPUFF modelling system supplemented as necessary by the AERMOD model.

(10) Details on the environmental assessment process: 
The project was initially registered with the province of New Brunswick and the federal government on January 25, 2007.  The New Brunswick Government required the whole of the project to undergo an Environmental Assessment, while the Federal Government required an assessment of the Marine Terminal.  The New Brunswick Assessment covers the total air emissions from the whole project and is the most appropriate one to use in the assessment of potential transboundary air impacts.  In June of 2007, New Brunswick issued its Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines[1] and these included a requirement for the proponent to assess the potential for transboundary air impacts.  The final Environmental Impact Assessment report was made available to the public in August of 2009 and the public part of the Assessment process began.  Details are given as follows:

Written comments on the provincial EA process must be received on or before December 4, 2009, at the following address:
The Department of Environment (DENV)
Environmental and Local Government Initiatives Branch
P.O. Box 6000 (20 McGloin Street), Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1
Tel: (506) 453-3700, Fax: (506) 453-3676, Email: EIA-EIE@gnb.ca

The province will also be holding a public meeting.  Anyone wishing to make a presentation at the public meeting should contact the Department of Environment at (506) 453-3700 (collect). The meeting will also provide an opportunity for general comments.  Details are as follows:

November 18, 2009 beginning at 7:00 PM
At the Simonds Lions Auditorium (next to the Loch Lomond Villa)
185 Loch Lomond Road, Saint John, NB

A summary of the Project Eider Rock EIA Report has been prepared by the New Brunswick Department of Environment (NBENV), to assist the public in becoming familiar with the results of the assessments described in the full document, the key issues identified, and the conclusions reached by the Study Team.

Both this NBENV summary, which totals 208 pages, and the full EIA Report prepared by Jacques Whitford Stantec, are now available for review and/or downloading from the internet, at the following locations:

Project Eider Rock EIA Summary - www.gnb.ca/0009/0377/0002/0005-e.asp

Project Eider Rock EIA Report - www.irvingoil.com/company/erock.asp

All documentation, including the complete EIA Report, is available online at www.gnb.ca/environment.

NOTE:

On Friday, July 24, 2009, Irving Oil and BP announced the decision that Project Eider Rock will not be moving forward at this time as a result of global economic and industry conditions. However, as a significant amount of work has been completed on the environmental assessment of the project, it is the proponent’s intention to continue with the permitting process should market conditions improve.

[1] Available at: http://www.gnb.ca/0009/0377/0002/0029-e.pdf

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