From the Globe and Mail:
The board of directors of Suncor Energy Inc. has given final approval for a $20.6-billion expansion project in its oil sands operation, the company announced Wednesday.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, the company said the project would see crude oil production at its oil sands north of Fort McMurray, Alta., increase by 200,000 barrels a day.
Suncor said the expansion is in line with a long-term growth plan first announced in 2001 that would see the company's oil output double to 550,000 barrels a day by 2012.
"Our long term growth strategy called for us to double our business and now, with the board's support, we're constructing an expansion project that is thoroughly planned and engineered," Rick George, Suncor's president and chief executive, said in the statement.
"The years of pre-work leading up to this point will also help us deliver another commitment to our stakeholders - that we would work to ensure all future growth is completed in a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible manner."
Suncor said the expansion plans, which will be completed in phases, include constructing four additional stages of in-situ bitumen production as well as building a third upgrader to convert that bitumen into higher-value crude oil.
The company said it has already invested $2.5-billion in engineering and site work for the project.
The announcement comes a day after the company announced a new deal with the Alberta government that would see it pay up to 20 per cent more royalties on the rates applied to its mining operations....MORE