Sasol is planning to build Canada’s first gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. As a multi-billion dollar investment, the facility will create a new industry for Canada, diversify the Alberta economy and create new employment opportunities.
The rapid growth in North American shale gas production presents exciting opportunities for GTL technology to add value to the continent’s abundant natural gas resources. GTL is an ideal monetization opportunity for natural gas producers. As improved production technology continues to increase the supply and depress the price of natural gas, the price differential between natural gas and oil has widened considerably. GTL is able to take advantage of this differential by producing oil-equivalent fuels from natural gas feedstock, unlocking the full value of natural gas.
Capacity and Products
At full productive capacity, the GTL facility would use up to 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas to support the facility’s nominal design capacity of 96,000 barrels per day of high-quality diesel, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas.
The diesel fuel produced by the facility will be marketed in western Canada. GTL diesel is a very clean-burning product and a desirable blending component with conventional petroleum products. It contains virtually no sulphur or aromatic compounds, and it has a high cetane number. Diesel fuel has often been in short supply in western Canada in recent years.
GTL naphtha is also a high-value product in western Canada. It will be sold as an alternative supply for blending with bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands for transportation to final downstream markets. The small quantity of liquefied petroleum gas (mainly propane) produced by the facility will be absorbed into the local market.
We have selected a site in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. The site is designated for industrial use and has access to the infrastructure needed to develop and supply this state-of-the-art facility.
Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is becoming a globally significant hydrocarbon processing hub. We are excited about the opportunity to bring GTL technology to a dynamic business community with a highly educated and capable local workforce.
In the Community
The Canada GTL Project is committed to building a positive long-term relationship with its neighbours, including participating in local business and community groups and supporting community-building organizations and events.
Sasol is committed to maintaining an open dialogue with the local community and operating with sensitivity around environmental, social and economic considerations. The project team is working with the Government of Alberta, regulators and the local community to explore the full impact and benefits of the GTL facility.
Our public consultation process includes open houses, one-on-one meetings and stakeholder group meetings. The first of two open house took place September 26, 2012 in Fort Saskatchewan. The second was held on October 30, 2013 in Sherwood Park. Both open houses were very successful, with a strong turnout of people interested in meeting Sasol Canada staff and learning more about the project.
Sasol completed a successful feasibility study on the Canada GTL project late spring 2012 and filed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) documentation to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development in May 2013. The EIA is the central component in the regulatory process required for this type of hydrocarbon processing complex.
Sasol is now developing its first North American GTL facility in Louisiana. The Canadian project will follow the U.S. project, as a phased approach enables specialized resources and capital to be deployed efficiently. A decision to proceed with front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the Canada GTL project will be taken in due course, at which time a detailed project timeline will be available.