Suncor invests $1.4B in cogeneration units at Oil Sands Base Plant

Will provide steam generation required for Suncor’s extraction and upgrading operations.

Oil sands product tanks, Fort McMurray, Alta.
Photo: Suncor Energy

CALGARY — Suncor Energy is replacing its coke-fired boilers with two cogeneration units at its Oil Sands Base Plant in Northern Alberta.

The Calgary-based energy company said the cogeneration units will provide reliable steam generation required for Suncor’s extraction and upgrading operations and generate 800 megawatts of power while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% or 2.5 megatonnes.

The project cost is estimated to be $1.4 billion and is expected to be in service in the second half of 2023.

The power will be transmitted to Alberta’s grid, providing reliable, baseload, low-carbon power, equivalent to approximately 8% of Alberta’s current electricity demand and increase demand for natural gas in the province.

Replacing the coke-fired boilers is also expected to reduce sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 45% and 15% respectively. The cogeneration units will eliminate the need for a flue gas desulphurization unit, which is currently used to reduce sulphur emissions associated with coke fuel.

Decommissioning the unit will reduce the volume of water the company withdraws from the Athabasca River by approximately 20%.

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