RETURN ON INVESTMENT
As oil producers focus on driving down costs and emissions during the lingering price slump, Edmonton-based Industrial Engines markets ultra-efficient combined heat and power units, and a system that captures vented wellhead methane to drive pumpjacks
Ultra-efficient combined heat and power units could deliver big savings on power and emissions
INDUSTRIAL ENGINES, AN EDMONTON-BASED COMPANY,
has been powering the oil industry as far afield as Mexico and Albania with diesel and natural gas-fueled engines and pumps for nearly half a century. But today’s oil prices have knocked the bottom out of the barrel. Despite the low loonie, even overseas sales have slowed since the slump. “The price of oil is killing everything,” Al Dobler, Industrial Engines’ general manager says. “[We sell] equipment that’s used after drilling a hole—and no one’s buying anything because they’re not drilling holes.” Furthermore, most of the firm’s machinery is imported from the U.S., where prices rise for Canadian purchasers as the loonie falls. Combined with the drilling decline, it compounds the domestic demand slump. “Business is down 70 percent since 2014,” Dobler adds.
However, as Canadian oil producers swing towards lowering production costs, instead of focusing simply on getting it out of the ground as quickly as possible when prices were $100 per barrel, Industrial Engines is turning with them, targeting the market with cost- and carbon-cutting machinery.
The firm is pinning its hopes on cogeneration units
INDUSTRIAL ENGINES GENERAL MANAGER AL DOBLER WITH A COGENERATION (COMBINED HEAT AND POWER) UNIT THAT CAN REACH 90 PERCENT EFFICIENCY WITH A FIVE-YEAR PAYBACK