NewGrade Energy, Inc.
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

NewGrade Energy Cooperative Upgrader

Fluor Canada, in conjunction with its partner Kilborn, set design records when it was awarded NewGrade Energy Inc.'s Phase I and II contract as Support Engineering Contractor for its major refinery expansion. Fluor's responsibilities included detailed engineering for the onsites, offsites, and utilities revamp of the Atmospheric Residuum Desulphurization Units and Hydrogen Recovery and Compression (ARDS and HRC). Fluor Canada was also responsible for the construction as well as the project and material management of the total project. This was the first of many Canadian mega-projects to be executed by Fluor.

Client's Challenge

NewGrade Energy Inc. needed an expansion and modernization of its Cooperative Refineries Limited, Regina plant. This involved the addition of new units and modifications to existing units to allow the refinery to maximize the processing of Saskatchewan heavy and medium crudes in place of the current Alberta light crude feedstock.

Production of gasoline and diesel from heavy Saskatchewan crude required the addition of four major processing units to the existing refinery. The units, collectively known as the Upgrader, are the ARDS unit, the DHU (distillate hydroprocessing unit), the sulphur plant, and the hydrogen plant.

Fluor's Solution

As the managing contractor on the Cooperative Upgrader Project, the Fluor/Kilborn joint venture oversaw the engineering, procurement, and construction of the project. This first heavy oil upgrader was built in conjunction with the existing cooperative refinery in Saskatchewan,Canada. The Upgrader converts 50,000 bbl/day of heavy crude into a lighter, higher quality product, which is used as feedstock for the cooperative refinery. In addition to overall management responsibilities, Fluor/Kilborn was responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the ARDS unit, HRC unit, offsites, utilities, and existing refinery unit revamps.

The ARDS vessels were the largest pieces of equipment by weight ever handled by the port of Duluth and the largest ever moved by CP rail. During this project Fluor provided full project services from concept development through detailed engineering.



The project was completed in two phases on schedule and on budget. At the time, the ARDS reactors were the heaviest pieces of equipment ever handled by the Port of Duluth, one of the largest inland seaports in the world. These units were also the heaviest ever moved by the Canadian Pacific railway.

Linear programming techniques were used to determine the optimal processing configuration. A design basis memorandum for the integrated facility and engineering design specifications (EDSs) for all new and revamped units were prepared using licensor basis process information and in house process simulations. Fluor also achieved an exceptional on-the-job safety record during construction.