CN Innovations, the branch of Canada National Railway Company (CN) that developed CanaPux, has become successful to found two groups interested to partner with it in building production plants for pucks development.
For CN, it took years to develop a product like CanaPux, a solid puck made through transforming thick bitumen crude oil from Canada’s oil sands by mixing a polymer in order to transport that crude oil with minimum fear of spilling out or catching fires. The polymer used to form the puck and separated from the oil once it reach the destination could be reused by sending it back to the processing plant.
The two interested companies includes a Chinese group looking for exporting bitumen to China and the other one is the Canadian group having intentions to export the bitumen to India and South Korea, among other countries, especially focusing on the non-combustion purposes as bitumen like other heavy oils is regularly used for pavement and waterproofing of roofs in many parts of the world, said James Auld, the project lead for CanaPux at CN, on last Monday.
He added that building a CanaPux production plant having capacity of processing 10,000 barrel-a-day would cost about 50 million Canadian dollars ($37.6 million) and both groups are aiming to build plants with the capacity to process between 10,000 and 50,000 barrels per day. The cost includes only facility at the starting side of the CanaPux production and does not include a facility at the other end of transportation change where the pucks would be de-polymerized to get the oil.s
Auld also said that the economic factor to produce CanaPux is not obvious but it has been made more compelling by the unique properties of the bitumen as diluent required to send bitumen through pipelines occupies 30 percent of the volume whereas CanaPux uses addition of 10 percent of polymer to make each puck.