Construction expected to commence this year on Suncor Energy’s big new cogen plant

Suncor Energy CEO Steve Williams speaks at the opening of the Fort Hills mine in September 2018. Image: Joey Podlubny/JWN

Suncor Energy plans to commence construction this year on a major cogeneration project at the company’s base mine, analysts with Peters & Co. Limited reported.

The company will replace aging coke-fired boilers with two natural gas-fired cogeneration units in order to reduce costs and its carbon footprint.

Along with providing steam and electricity 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.

Suncor received regulatory approval to proceed in July 2018.

“Construction is slated to start in 2019, with commissioning in 2022,” Peters & Co. reported from its invitation-only energy conference in Lake Louise this week.

The project is expected to cost $1.0 billion to $1.5 billion, analysts noted, adding that Suncor is currently the fifth largest power producer in Alberta, and would become the third largest producer once the new units are in service.

— With files from the Canadian Press