Briefing

Suncor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its largest plant by 25 per cent

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The firm is investing $1.4 billion to install two cogeneration units, which simultaneously produce heat and energy, at its plant near Fort McMurray, Alta. The units, which Suncor plans to be up and running in 2023, will also reduce operating costs and nearly double how much power the plant transmits to Alberta’s energy grid. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The firm, Canada’s second-largest oilsands producer, said replacing its coke-fired boilers with cogeneration units will reduce overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the province by 2.5 megatonnes per year. That’s a modest portion of Canada’s overall GHG production—Canada produced 716 megatonnes in 2017—but significant for a single producer, given that the oil sands account for about 10 per cent of the country’s emissions. The use of cogeneration technology in Alberta has steadily increased over the past 15 years, and is already being used by other large producers, including Cenovus Energy and MEG Energy. The move comes as energy companies face increased pressure from investors, regulators and consumers to clean up their operations. In June, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, whose investments in Canada total US$28 billion, divested from firms that do oil and gas exploration and production unless they have renewable energy operations, like Suncor does. And, also in June the government released its first-ever report on sustainable finance, which included recommendations for oil and gas companies to focus on low-emissions infrastructure.