From 1961 to 2011, Nexen operated the Balzac sour gas processing plant (Balzac gas plant) located northeast of Calgary, Alberta. In October 2014, the two iconic red and white towers that were a part of the Balzac area skyline for decades were brought down as part of the final above-ground demolition.

In 2011, the plant ceased operations. In 2012/2013, the abatement (or reduction) process was completed. This process involved the safe removal of materials such as asbestos, PCB’s, mercury and other materials common to oil and gas processing facilities. 

In 2013, planning began for the demolition of all above-ground buildings, structures, vessels, piping, and equipment. Any remaining demolition activity required on site will be completed in conjunction with future on site remediation work. 

Throughout demolition, Nexen reused, recycled or reclaimed over 85% of the materials (scrap metal and demolition debris) that was on the site. The remaining materials – including 90% of the stacks material – were managed according to environmental regulations. 

The progression of activities on the plant has now moved from decommissioning into the remediation stage. Remediation of the plant area will be completed strategically over the next 10-15 years as per our AER approval. The final stage of activity on the plant site will involve reclamation of the area to an industrial land use which is consistent with the surrounding area.  Remediation and reclamation activities may occur concurrently given ongoing work.

All abatement, demolition and reclamation plans comply with applicable regulatory health, safety and environmental requirements and conditions. Transportation routes are assessed and monitored on a regular basis. To minimize disruption to the environment and surrounding communities, all activities are guided by management plans and include input from: 

  • key stakeholders;
  • local communities;
  • other plant operators;
  • industry experts; and
  • other subject matter experts.

The Balzac Power Station will remain in operation.