Construction of BP's new $86 million dollar GTL facility is on schedule and on budget, according to Steve Fortune, Engineering Manager for the plant being built in Nikiski.
Fortune gave a project update last week to the Kenai chapter of the Alliance at the Paradisos restaurant in Kenai. "Things have been going really well at the site. At the moment we're about 80% complete with the project. Even taking the cold weather into account we are progressing very well. We're hoping that we should be ready for start up around February or March next year, which is about two to three months ahead of our original plan," said Fortune.
The design of the facility has made it almost invisible from the road and surrounding areas due to an extensive tree buffer. "One of the key features of our design includes a concealed ground flare so that even at full flaring capacity, there will be no visible flare," explained Fortune. It is expected that it will take about two years to prove the technology being installed at the plant. If successful a major production facility may be built on the North Slope. It is hoped that the gas to liquid's processes that are presently in the research phase will be able to be demonstrated at the Nikiski facility and extend the plant life out to at least five years. "And who knows by then what will be coming out of the research phase that will need proving. What we really have here now is test bed and everyone at our facility is dedicated to proving new technologies," added Fortune.
Once the plant begins operation it will be producing a synthetic crude material which will then be moved via tanker truck about a mile north and sold to the Tesoro refinery where it will be used to make diesel and jet fuels. "We'll move the product by road tanker and it'll take about two or three road tankers a day," estimated Fortune.
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