Alberta wildfires lead to cogeneration shutdown

The forest fires that have wrought devastation to Alberta have impacted on the use of cogeneration facilities in Canadian province.

Cogeneration power plants in the oil town of Fort McMurray operated at near 18 per cent of capacity eFort McMurray fire Albertaarly Mondayas oil sands producers in the area kept operations shut.

The plants had been operating at 30 per cent of capacity on Friday before conditions worsened over the weekend.

There are about 3,200 MW of power cogeneration capacity serving the oil sands industry in the province of Alberta, with about two-thirds located in the Fort McMurray area.

Of the roughly 2,200 MW of cogeneration capacity in the fire-ravaged area, less than 400 MW operated Monday morning and Sunday afternoon versus about 650 MW on Friday afternoon, according to data from the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).

Since the fire started on May 1, generators have shut the McKay River plant on May 4, the Syncrude plant on May 7 and the Kearl and Firebag plants by May 8.

Some 2,400 homes and buildings in Fort McMurray were destroyed or damaged by the fire and 88,000 residents were evacuated after shifting winds brought the fire to the city.

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