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Suncor begins process to add 700 megawatts of oilsands cogeneration

A pedestrian is reflected in a Suncor Energy sign in Calgary, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. Fierce wildfires that swept through northern Alberta's oilsands region in May have delivered a $735-million net loss for Suncor Energy.
A pedestrian is reflected in a Suncor Energy sign in Calgary, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. Fierce wildfires that swept through northern Alberta's oilsands region in May have delivered a $735-million net loss for Suncor Energy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) says it has started the regulatory process on replacing aging boilers at its oilsands Base Plant with two cogeneration units to lower costs and carbon output.

The company says the cogeneration units, which allows industries to use both the electricity and heat created in power generation, will replace boilers that currently use petroleum coke as fuel.

Suncor says that along with providing the needed steam for its oilsands operations, the units would export about 700 megawatts, or roughly seven per cent of Alberta’s power needs, to the provincial grid.

The company says the units could come online by 2022 and provide reliable baseload power as the province shifts to more intermittent renewable energy sources.

READ MORE: Canadian energy producers’ strategies are adapting to new era of oil supply certainty

It says it continues to evaluate the project, with the proposal submitted for review to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and a final sanction decision expected by the end of 2018.

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Suncor already has some cogeneration units installed at its Base Plant, as well as at its Firebag, MacKay River and Fort Hills facilities.

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