IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ExxonMobil today announced its majority-owned affiliate, Imperial Oil Ltd., is moving forward with plans to produce renewable diesel at a new complex at its Strathcona refinery in Edmonton, Canada. When construction is complete, the refinery is expected to produce approximately 20,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel, which could reduce emissions in the Canadian transportation sector by about 3 million metric tons per year. The complex will utilize locally grown plant-based feedstock and hydrogen with carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of the manufacturing process.
“Canada’s proposed low-carbon fuel policies incentivize the development of lower-emission fuels that can make meaningful contributions to the hard-to-decarbonize sectors of the economy, including transportation,” said Ian Carr, president of ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company. “The Strathcona project is an example of how well-designed policies allow us to leverage our existing global facilities for capital efficiency, utilize our proprietary catalyst technology, and bring our decades of processing experience to develop low-emission fuels.”
The renewable diesel production process will utilize blue hydrogen, which is produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage. Production of blue hydrogen has been shown to have substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventionally produced hydrogen. Approximately 500,000 metric tons of CO2 are expected to be captured each year utilizing CCS. The blue hydrogen and biofeedstock will be combined with a proprietary catalyst to produce premium low-carbon diesel fuel.
“ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions has made the broad commercialization of carbon capture and storage our initial focus, and we are seeing increased momentum for projects that include hydrogen and biofuels – areas that we are uniquely suited to address and advance in combination with CCS,” said Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “We strongly support an economy-wide price on carbon because it is the most efficient approach to changing behaviors and accelerating investments in low-emission technology. However, Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulation could be a model for other countries considering a sectoral approach. Technology-neutral, lifecycle carbon-intensity based fuels policies like the one proposed in Canada can quickly bring projects like Strathcona to scale and rapidly reduce emissions at a low cost to society.”
A final investment decision will be based on several factors, including government support and approvals, market conditions and economic competitiveness. Imperial will lead the project, which is expected to create about 600 direct construction jobs. Renewable diesel production is anticipated to start in 2024.
Based on an analysis of California Air Resources Board data, renewable diesel from various non-petroleum feedstocks can provide life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions of approximately 40 percent to 80 percent compared to petroleum-based diesel. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that reducing 3 million metric tons of greenhouse gases is equivalent to taking more than 650,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
The Strathcona renewable diesel project is part of ExxonMobil’s plans to provide more than 40,000 barrels per day of low-emissions fuels by 2025. In the United States, the company has agreed to purchase up to 5 million barrels of renewable diesel annually from Global Clean Energy to supply markets in California. Chemically similar to petroleum-based diesel, renewable diesel can be readily blended for use in engines on the market today.
In March, ExxonMobil established a Low Carbon Solutions business to commercialize low-emission technologies, including CCS, biofuels and hydrogen.
In June, Imperial announced its participation as a founding member of the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero Alliance. The goal of this unique alliance, working collectively with the broader oil and gas industry and the federal and Alberta governments, is to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands operations by 2050 to help Canada meet its climate goals, including its Paris Agreement commitments and 2050 net-zero aspirations.
The International Energy Agency projects CCS could mitigate up to 15 percent of global emissions by 2040, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates global de-carbonization efforts could be twice as costly without CCS.
ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy companies, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. To learn more, visit exxonmobil.com, the Energy Factor and Carbon capture and storage | ExxonMobil.
Cautionary Statement: Statements of future events, investment opportunities or conditions in this release are forward-looking statements. Actual future results, including project plans, timing, production volumes, and costs, future relative reductions in emissions and emissions intensity, carbon capture and hydrogen results and the impact of operational and technology efforts could vary depending on any changes in the designs upon final approval of this project; the ability to execute operational objectives on a timely and successful basis; the ability to obtain and timing of required governmental and other third party consents; the development and pace of supportive market conditions and national, regional and local policies relating to renewable fuels, carbon capture, hydrogen, and emission reductions; changes in laws and regulations including laws and regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions, carbon costs, and taxes; trade patterns and the development and enforcement of local, national and international mandates and treaties; unforeseen technical or operational difficulties; the outcome of research efforts and future technology developments, including the ability to scale projects and technologies on a commercially competitive basis; changes in supply and demand and other market factors affecting future prices of oil, gas, and petrochemical products; and other factors discussed in this release and under the heading “Factors Affecting Future Results” on the Investors page of ExxonMobil’s website at exxonmobil.com.