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Alaska’s Diesel Strategy - North Slope Retrofit Projects

To address requirements of the initial delay in production of ULSD, ConocoPhillips, BP-Alaska, and ADEC formed planning and management teams to identify, approve and implement a series of retrofit projects to reduce diesel emissions. Through December 2006 to the final recommendations made in June 2008, the planning team reviewed potential projects to reduce diesel emissions. Projects were ranked by their effectiveness in reducing diesel emissions and by their costs; basically, what projects reduced emissions most for the cost.

Not surprisingly, projects reducing fuel use reduced the most emissions. On the North Slope and in other areas of the state, diesel equipment is often left to idle throughout the winter under concern that turning off the engine may mean the fuel gels and restarting the equipment is impossible until spring. Thus the majority of the projects entailed installing devices on equipment allowing operators to turn their equipment off. These devices included:

  • sensors that monitor the block temperature of the diesel engine and automatically starting an engine when the block cools to a temperature of concern
  • cab heaters which allow the main engine to be turned off but provide some heat to the cab for operator comfort
  • bull rails - lines of electrical outlets allowing operators to plug in their equipment when not in use
  • warm storage – the construction of large tents heated with natural gas where diesel equipment can be parked and turned off

Other diesel reduction projects include installation of up to 100 diesel oxidative catalysts on equipment to reduce emissions during equipment operation. Also, a guard shack that had been lit by a diesel generator was put on mainline power which is fueled with natural gas.

Overall, nearly 3 million gallons of diesel use will be prevented by these measures. This amount equates to a few tons of particulate matter, sulfur oxide and carbon monoxide prevented or removed. Around 40,000 tons of CO2, a greenhouse gas, will be prevented from entering the atmosphere.

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