Joffre Cogeneration Facility

The Joffre Cogeneration facility is the largest cogeneration power plant in Canada. Located east of Red Deer, Alberta, in Western Canada, the power plant is a combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station and is attached to a nearby petrochemical plant. It is equipped with gas turbines, a steam turbine and a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). The main pieces of equipment are two Siemens-Westinghouse 501F combustion turbine generators, two Nooter / Erikson heat recovery steam generators and one Toshiba steam turbine.

The $269 million gas-fired cogeneration facility was a significant part of the Joffre 2000 petrochemical expansion at NOVA Chemicals Corporation (NOVA Chemicals) on the same site. The cogeneration plant generates all the electricity and steam / heat required to operate the expanded NOVA Chemicals petrochemical facility, with surplus power available for sale to the provincial power grid. After deduction for running the olefins plant, the excess power is about 290MW.


The actual cogeneration facility has an output of 416MW. This makes the Joffre cogeneration plant almost triple the size of any other cogeneration facility built in the province. NOVA Chemicals’ petrochemical complex expansion uses 128MW, allowing the remaining 288MW to be used by the Alberta Power Pool. Merchant power is an increasingly popular option in both Canada and the USA.

Construction of the cogeneration facility began in the middle of 1998, and was finished by the middle of 2000. This coincided with the construction of the Joffre petrochemical facilities. The firing of the first combustion turbine was on 27 February 2000. On 14 March 2001, both of the turbines went on line together and synchronized to the provincial grid. During the testing and tuning stages, the turbines were operated on an intermittent basis. Commercial operation began in May 2001.

The natural gas-powered turbines produce electrical energy and the waste heat from the gas turbines is also converted into electrical energy and process steam. The cogeneration facility uses natural gas to simultaneously produce steam through the recovery of exhaust heat and electrical energy.


The power plant takes advantage of the expansion of the Nova Chemicals petrochemical facility. In a joint venture, NOVA Chemicals and Dow Chemical expanded their Joffre facility to increase the production of ethylene and polyethylene at the site.

The power plant is owned by a joint venture with three shareholders. ATCO Power and EPCOR jointly have 40% shares in the Joffre cogeneration plant and NOVA Chemicals holds the remaining 20%. Therefore the owner of the neighbouring industrial plant has a minority share in the power facility.

ATCO Power serves as facility operator following the start-up of the cogeneration facility. NOVA Chemicals served as project manager for the construction of the cogeneration facility through start-up, and EPCOR and ATCO Power jointly market power that is surplus to the Joffre site needs.

There are also long-term power and steam agreements with NOVA Chemicals. The plant therefore has a guaranteed market for much of its production in the neighbouring industrial plant.

By using natural gas-fired technologies, the cogeneration facility significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The reductions may amount to more than 50% compared to existing standards within the Alberta system according to company estimates.


The principal contractor is Black and Veatch Canada Inc. Atlas Power did the testing, start-up and commissioning for Black and Veatch. Support was also provided by Kingston Construction Ltd and other Canadian companies.