Two steps forward, one step back: Start-up delayed at US Oil Sands due to centrifuge malfunction
Calgary-based US Oil Sands suffered a set-back this month after a centrifuge malfunction delayed the restart of its PR Spring Project in Utah. The company says it is working with its suppliers to repair the faulty equipment and hopes to resume start-up procedures by the end of the month.
The plant's natural gas fired turbines are now operational, providing power to the site. Despite a US$7.5 million loan secured earlier this year, the company remains almost $12 million in the hole and is currently investigating various "financing strategies" to keep operating. However, management says it doesn't foresee any major expenses before achieving first-oil, barring any new design deficiencies.
Phase 1 of PR Spring as a capacity of 2,000 bbl/day. Bitumen will be transported to market using insulated tanker trucks or rail cars.
US Oil Sands has a propriety bitumen extraction process that uses a citrus-based bio-solvent to extract bitumen from the oil sands without the need for huge volumes of water or tailings storage ponds.
The company says it is looking for opportunities to work with operators in the Athabasca oil sands to further commercialize their technology.