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Suncor upgrader shutdown for expansion

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    Suncor Energy Inc. has confirmed plans to shut down one of two upgraders at the company’s oil sands operations near Fort McMurray to tie-in new facilities related to a planned expansion. The work, which is scheduled to begin May 31, 2007, is expected to last approximately 50 days. During this period, the other upgrader is expected to continue to operate at normal production capacity of about 125,000 barrels per day (bpd).
    The tie-in of new facilities is part of a planned expansion of oil sands production capacity to a targeted 350,000 bpd in 2008 from current capacity of approximately 260,000 bpd. The work impacts Upgrader 2, which began operations in 2001.
    Approximately 2,000 contractors will be involved in the tie-in work, which involves a number of facilities including the upgrader’s cokers, vacuum unit, sulphur plant and cooling tower. Suncor will focus on completing the tie-in work in a safe manner while minimizing impacts to the environment. Although this tie-in work may result in periods of increased flaring and the potential for odours, Suncor intends to minimize these impacts and ensure emissions levels remain within regulated limits.

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