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March 26th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 12
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Coleman gas plant to be dismantled by autumn
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Ramin Bogzran and Robert Boyce posing in front of what the Coleman gas plant might look a few years from now.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
For many years, the smoke stack of the Devon natural gas plant has dominated the skyline of East Coleman.
But by the fall of this year, that stack and plant will be gone and area will be going back to its natural state.
On March 18, two years after announcing the closure of Coleman gas plant, Devon Canada held an open house at Elk’s Hall in Blairmore to introduce Envirocon, an environmental remediation company that will be taking it down.
Ramin Bogzran, director of strategy and business development at Envirocon, said the company went through a long selection process before getting the job.
“Always, as a contractor, there is a sense of pride in taking a plant like this down,” he said. “[Because] it is such a historic site near the community.”
The Coleman plant was commissioned in 1961 and went through several ownership changes before being acquired by Devon in 1998. Thirty-five people were employed there when it closed.
Quincy Chiang, facilities engineer at Devon Canada, said the plant was closed because of low gas prices, the age of the plant and strict Alberta Environment emission restrictions.
“At some point we just decided it’s too difficult for us to meet these emissions. And we don’t want to be non-compliant with Alberta Environment.”

At the time of its closure natural gas prices had reached a 14-year low in Canada, falling below $2 U.S. per British Thermal Unit (BTU).
In April 2012, the decision to close the plant was reached. The gas was shut off by June, the boiler by July and by October the plant was declared inert.
The plant is going through another three phases, dismantling, remediation and reclamation.
Patricia Etris, community relations leader with Devon, says Envirocon will start removing asbestos from the site in April. Then they’ll dismantle the plant and last to go will be the iconic stack, which should be coming down in late August or September.
By the time they’re through it will be a clear plot of land. But there will still need to be some subsurface work done.
Chiang says this will involve periodic testing, treating and potentially removing contaminated soil. He says this is a long-term phase that may last five to ten years.
Robert Boyce, retirement and decommissioning lead, says the open house was held for the benefit of the community.
“We’re taking this plant down. That decision is a community based decision. Devon bought it from North Star Energy. Devon operated it. Devon made the tough call to shut her down and it’s going to go down under Devon’s flag.”
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March 26th ~ Vol. 84 No. 12
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