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September 13, 2012

Petroleum Centre project at Lakeland College hits the ground with sod-turning

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With shovels in hand, construction of Lakeland College’s new Petroleum Centre began Tuesday with a sod-turning ceremony at the Lloydminster campus.

Participating in the ceremony were MLA Vermilion-Lloydminster Dr. Richard Starke, Lloydminster Mayor Jeff Mulligan and Husky Energy’s Vice President, Upgrader Complex Al MacLauchlan, along with Lakeland College Board Chair Milt Wakefield, President Glenn Charlesworth, Director, Energy, Entrepreneurship and Aboriginal programming Kara Johnston and Melanie Harper, a first-year student in the college’s heavy oil power engineering program.

“This is a very significant day and marks an important milestone in the history of our college and our economic region. Together with the support of partners, we are pleased to be able to proceed with the construction of this sophisticated facility that specifically addresses the training and educational needs of the petroleum and energy sector,” says Charlesworth.

The facility, estimated to cost $17 million, will enable Lakeland College to meet student and industry demand by offering more full-time and part-time oil and gas programming.

The focal point of the new Petroleum Centre is a large power engineering and heavy oil lab with three steam boilers, water treatment equipment, a turbine generator and breakout training spaces. Students will be able to simulate complete heavy oil upgrading and steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) processes from beginning to end in the lab.

No ceiling tiles will be used so students can see the lab’s mechanical system. Outside the lab, an observation deck will make it possible for people to watch as students live the learning.

The lab will also serve as a fully-functioning power plant that will heat the Lloydminster campus as it will have the capacity to produce 200 kilowatts of power that will go into the campus grid.

Partners who have made it possible to construct the Petroleum Centre, develop curriculum and fund student scholarships include Allan Markin, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Husky Energy, Cenovus Energy Incorporated, and Keyera Corporation. The Government of Alberta contributed $9.975 million in capital funding.

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