Energy processing company moving to industrial area

Foothills: Council not concerned about safety at former Western Biodiesel site

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 05:28 pm

JORDAN VERLAGE/OWW

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An energy processing company will take the place of a former biodiesel plant in the foothills.

XR Resources will move into the former home of Western Biodiesel, near the Cargill Foods Ltd. plant north of High River.

The facility has sat empty since the biodiesel company it once houses moved out in 2010.

XR Resources president Mackenzie Loree said they got a good price on the property and are looking forward to installing their gear to get things going.

“We were looking for a home because need a headquarters,” he said. “We also want to do long term economic and liability testing for our catalysts. Our catalysts are the major portion or the Achilles heel of our actual processing.”

XR, which is a subsidiary for Petrostar Petroleum, will be processing natural gas feedstock into sulfur-free, environment friendly diesel fuels and additives, as well as continuing to develop its technology on the site.

Loree was granted a development permit for the property from MD of Foothills council on June 18 so he could go ahead with the facility.

While MD council was impressed with the endeavors, they were also concerned about safety. The building’s previous owners were fined over $160,000 in 2011 for chemical spills they tried to cover up, and faced additional charges for the accidental death of a worker in 2008 after a welding accident.

Loree told council his company posed no threat to the community. XR works with ATCO gas to deliver their gas and he said between the two of them their safety policies are both top notch.

“We use emergency shut downs as well as automatic kills so in the event that the equipment is not operating properly or something is off it has an automatic shut down and then it isolates everything and allows us to go in and rectify the problem if there is one,” he said. “We're prepared for the worst case scenario and in the event that we run into even a minor hiccup no matter how small it is we will be fully prepared to handle that as we go.”

Loree said the neighbouring businesses have nothing to be concerned about, and his company will fit in well with the surroundings.

“The actual area is full of natural gas and oil activity that goes for gas compressors, batteries, gathering wells and pipelines,” he said. “With that being said you know people are already involved in industry here, so they already have a large awareness of what's going on within the industry.”

And reeve Larry Spilak said council was satisfied with Loree’s reassurances.

“The questions were asked of course as to whether or not safety to the surrounding areas would be a concern,” he said. “The applicant was very clear on the precautions they are taking and council no longer had any concerns.”


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