Canadian oil refinery using GE’s wastewater treatment technology honoured as the Industrial Water Project of the Year

Canadian Federated Co-Operatives Limited’s Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, was recently honoured as the Industrial Water Project of the Year at Global Water Intelligence’s annual Global Water Awards held in the Palacio de Cibeles this year. The award recognises the project, commissioned in 2016, that best represents the most impressive technical or environmental achievement in the industrial water field.

With the state-of-the-art water recycling equipment from GE Water & Process Technologies, the Co-op Refinery Complex became the very first refinery in north America to treat 100 per cent of its wastewater on-site, and then going on to recycle the treated discharge for steam production. The steam is then used to cool towers, heating, hydrogen production, or power equipment.

“We are honoured that our Co-op Refinery Complex was named Industrial Water Project of the Year. Water is a precious resource and our wastewater improvement project allows us to be efficient and sustainable by recovering every drop of water – two million gallons (7.5 million litres) of wastewater daily,” Gil Le Dressay, vice president refinery operations at Dederated Co-Operatives Limited, said. “With GE’s technology, we now recycle all of our wastewater in a socially responsible and environmentally sound way to conserve water for Regina and the entire province of Saskatchewan.”

Heiner Markhoff, CEO and president of GE Water & Process Technologies, accepted the award. “We are very proud that this project, which uses our advanced wastewater treatment technologies, has won this prestigious award,” Markhoff said. “Federated Co-Operatives Limited’s outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability should be an enduring example for the entire oil refining industry.”

Several years ago, the refinery expanded its operation in order to produce 30,000 more barrels of oil per day (BPD), bringing their production up from 100,000 BPD to 130,000 BPD, and increasing its water usage. Currently, the refinery uses a mixture of city water and well water, but restrictions on water use have decreed that the Co-op Refinery Complex has to find a new water source. The solution came in the form of GE Water & Process Technologies’ ZeeWeed* membrane bioreactor technology combined with a high-efficiency reverse osmosis system to reuse and recycle two million gallons (7.5 million litres) of wastewater per day. On top of the water reuse solution, GE Water & Process Technologies also provided the refinery with monitoring systems and wastewater specialty chemicals to optimise the system.

With the fully operational wastewater improvement project, Co-op Refinery Complex’s dependence on the raw water from the Regina aquifer will gradually decrease at the rate of 3,100 households in the city per year. By reusing and recycling 100 per cent of its wastewater on-site, the Co-op Refinery Complex will notably lower emissions containing volatile organic compounds and its related odours.

The Global Water Awards was established by the Global Water Intelligence magazine in 2006, and recognises the most important achievements in the international water industry in several categories. They reward initiatives in the desalination, water, and wastewater sectors that push the industry forward through improved operating performance, innovative technology adoption, and sustainable financial models.


*A trademark of General Electric Company that may be registered in one or more countries.