HeaderImage Oilsand Understanding Utilities v3


The utilities operation supplies steam, electricity, air, water and nitrogen for our operations.

Fuel for utility steam and power production is primarily from coker burner overhead gas and plant fuel gas. At the Aurora site, natural gas is also used as a source of fuel.

Fuel Sources


Steam is generated by nine boilers and two “once-through” steam generators which recovers exhaust heat from our gas turbines.


Electricity is produced by 10 generators (six steam turbines and four gas turbines) with a total installed capacity of over 500 megawatts.


Air is supplied by four high speed centrifugal air compressors, for plant instrumentation and general use.


Water is produced by ten demineralizer trains for the Utility boilers and heat recovery boilers in Upgrading. Water is also continuously cycled through four cooling towers which keep plant cooling water at approximately 20º C. In addition, additional cooling water is recycled through the extraction process at an average rate of 13,500 m3/hr. This water is sourced from the tailings ponds. Click here for more information on our water use and conservation.


Nitrogen is both produced – in an air fractionation plant – and purchased.

Cooling towers enable water from the operation to be repeatedly reused.