Suncor eyes completion of oil sands plant

CALGARY�Suncor Energy Inc., Calgary, plans to spend $935 million (Can.) on capital programs in 2001, about half its 2000 outlay, as its Project Millennium oil sands expansion program nears completion.

It will allocate $450 million to complete the northern Alberta project, due to start up in the second half.

It is expected to double production to 225,000 b/d by 2002. The company said it also will improve plant reliability and enhance environmental performance. Suncor estimates the project will total $2.8 billion when completed.

In addition to Millennium, Suncor plans to spend more than $300 million on strategic growth projects and sustaining capital. About $125 million will be part of a plan to invest $750 million by 2005 to further expand oil sands production through a commercial scale in situ project and by increasing upgrading capacity.

The company will also spend $100 million on natural gas exploration and development, mostly in western Canada.

Suncor intends to spend $73 million in 2001 on refining and marketing operations and at least $13 million on alternative and renewable energy initiatives. The latter will launch a program to invest $100 million over 5 years on research and development into wind, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, and solar energy.

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