Melius Energy says it has successfully shipped bitumen from Edmonton to the Port of Prince Rupert. The Calgary-based energy company says the shipment establishes a transportation solution for Canadian energy products.
The bitumen was shipped in a custom 20-foot shipping container using intermodal rail and vessel infrastructure. Melius says the shipment is its first BitCrude transportation process demonstration that proves bitumen can be moved safely and efficiently in adherence to Canada’s regulatory framework.
Cal Broder created the BitCrude process which creates semi-solid bitumen, using a diluent recovery unit process. It uses an electrically powered diluent recovery unit (DRU), avoiding further fossil fuel combustion and requires no chemicals, additives or diluent, creating both a safer product, and a facility with a reduced green house gas footprint.
“BitCrude partnered with Melius Energy to commercialize and market our innovative transportation solution for bitumen,” said Broder. “We have now proven that we can ship bitumen to international markets safely and efficiently.”
“Now that we have tested the intermodal transportation method for exporting bitumen, Melius Energy is focused on scaling the BitCrude transportation solution,” said Melius’s President, Nicole Zhang.
The DRUs are modular, stackable and scalable; all to reduce environmental impact and improve efficiencies.
According to a press release issued by Melius, the company is working to establish relationships with refineries in Asia to supply a long-term, stable supply of bitumen to these customers.
The refineries that Melius is currently working with plan to refine Alberta bitumen into products such as asphalt and low-sulphur diesel.
The product that comes out of the BitCrude process is safe to transport in 20-foot custom shipping containers on standard rail and vessel infrastructure both domestically and internationally.
Transported as a semi-solid, the bitumen is designated as a non-dangerous good and non-flammable for transportation purposes, floats in both fresh and saltwater in custom designed shipping containers and is non-toxic to marine life.
Melius says the product meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements of Bill C-48, ensuring safe and efficient export out of the Port of Prince Rupert.
“Establishing a transportation solution for Canadian energy that delivers tremendous value for local producers while satisfying the demand for our energy internationally is our priority,” said Zhang.