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Melius Energy successfully tests new bitumen shipping approach

BitCrude process allows bitumen to be shipped in intermodal containers

The BitCrude transportation process allows Melius Energy to ship bitumen in 20-foot containers.
The BitCrude transportation process allows Melius Energy to ship bitumen in 20-foot containers.

Calgary based Melius Energy has successfully transported bitumen from Edmonton, Alberta to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, continuing to global markets in custom 20-foot shipping containers utilizing intermodal rail and vessel infrastructure. The shipment is the company's first BitCrude transportation process demonstration, proving the ability to move bitumen safely and efficiently, in adherence to Canada's regulatory framework.    

"Now that we have tested the intermodal transportation method for exporting bitumen, Melius Energy is focused on scaling the BitCrude transportation solution," said the company's President, Nicole Zhang. "Establishing a transportation solution for Canadian energy that delivers tremendous value for local producers while satisfying the demand for our energy internationally is our priority."

Melius continues to establish relationships with refineries in Asia and is working to provide a long-term, stable supply of bitumen to these customers. The refineries that Melius is currently working with plan to refine Alberta bitumen into products such as asphalt and low-sulphur diesel.

The product that comes out of the BitCrude process is safe to transport in 20-foot custom shipping containers on standard rail and vessel infrastructure both domestically and internationally. Transported as a semi-solid, the bitumen is designated as a non-dangerous good and non-flammable for transportation purposes, floats in both fresh and saltwater in custom designed shipping containers and is non-toxic to marine life. The product meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements of Bill C-48, ensuring safe and efficient export out of the Port of Prince Rupert.

The BitCrude process uses a state-of-the-art electrically powered diluent recovery unit (DRU), avoiding further fossil fuel combustion and requires no chemicals, additives or diluent, creating both a safer product, and a facility with a reduced green house gas footprint. The DRUs are modular, stackable and scalable; all to reduce environmental impact and improve efficiencies. 

"BitCrude partnered with Melius Energy to commercialize and market our innovative transportation solution for bitumen," said BitCrude creator, Cal Broder. "We have now proven that we can ship bitumen to international markets safely and efficiently."

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