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DP Veteran
Jul 19, 2005
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Why don't we switch to this rather large reserve, and relatively untouched, form of energy untill we actually complete the renewables process?

A bit about Orimulsion

Fuel deliver

The Coleson Cove Generating Station currently uses heavy fuel oil. This fuel is delivered to Courtenay Bay in single hulled vessels where it is unloaded to storage tanks and then pumped through an existing pipeline 27 kilometres across Saint John to storage tanks at the Coleson Cove Generating Station. Orimulsion®, the new fuel, will be delivered at Canaport utilizing the existing facilities. Double-hulled vessels carrying Orimulsion® to New Brunswick from Venezuela will moor to the monobuoy and unload through a sub-sea pipeline to onshore storage facilities. A new pipeline to East Saint John will connect to the existing pipeline to Coleson Cove Generating Station.

The Orimulsion® marketplace

Orimulsion® is an innovative fossil fuel that was developed in the late 1980s from the vast reserves of bitumen (a heavy hydrocarbon) in the Orinoco Belt of east-central Venezuela. Its primary purpose is as a boiler fuel for electric power generation.

Orimulsion® has been used commercially since 1991, and is now being consumed in Denmark, Italy, Germany, Canada, Japan and China. New contracts have been developed with customers in Italy, Singapore, South Korea and China. The current production capacity of 6.5 million tonnes per year is being expanded to supply this increased demand.

Orimulsion® is shipped from the Caribbean coast of Venezuela by ocean vessel to these worldwide customers. The primary new market for the fuel in the power generation sector is a group of existing power plants that possess certain key attributes. These attributes include the


interesting stuff
Changing components in all of our power plants would be quite expensive. There just seems to be no good way to produce the enormous quantity of power people seem to need. No matter what we do, the future does not look good.
A few points:

As far as I can see, Orimulsion is only available from Venuzuela and is a registered trademark, so there is an economic and supply risk.

There are concerns regarding the environmental impact as discussed in

Spillages would cause more damage than oil spillages, sulphur dioxide and sulphur trioxide pollution is a worry.

Phenol pollution is could also cause problems - discribed by the link above as 'serious "gender-bender" side effects all up and down the food chain'. This site also says that a British company...
ued the local power commission over contamination of his crops by heavy metal emissions from orimulsion burning

Now, I'm not saying that these problems are insurmountable, but they do show the other side to orimulsion promotion site's views.

Companies have been researching, for example, ways of recovering spilt orimulsion, but these are early days and with any new technology, time is needed to overcome the problems.
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