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4,500 GEA workers will be busy for 7 yrs starting '08

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  • 4,500 GEA workers will be busy for 7 yrs starting '08

    Steady work for thousands beginning 2008

    Redwater project to employ 4,500 for seven years

    Gordon Jaremko, The Edmonton Journal
    Published: Friday, December 08, 2006

    EDMONTON - Up to 4,500 Edmonton-area workers will be busy for about seven years beginning in 2008 on a bitumen upgrader project schedule laid out Thursday by Petro-Canada.

    Non-stop growth, described as "full-scale continuing construction," is sought by new applications to build the Sturgeon County plant near Redwater, about 40 kilometres northeast of the Alberta capital.

    The program calls for the upgrader jobs to start right after up to 2,500 workers finish renovations currently underway at Petro-Canada's Strathcona oil refinery on Edmonton's eastern edge, company spokesman Chris Dawson said.

    A skilled team will be kept together by the continuous construction plan, he said. The non-stop approach will help prevent delays, worker shortages and cost inflation caused by feast-or-famine project rushes, Dawson said.

    The Sturgeon upgrader will also be built at a pace set to match construction of the Fort Hills bitumen mega-mine north of Fort McMurray by Petro-Canada and UTS Energy.

    No new cost projections were disclosed by the Sturgeon upgrader construction applications to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and Alberta Environment.

    Estimates are being prepared as Petro-Canada and its partners review both the Fort Hills and Sturgeon upgrader developments, Dawson said.

    Investors were warned earlier this year to expect combined costs for the bitumen mining and processing projects to come in at $90,000 to $120,000 per barrel of production capacity.

    The forecast indicated total commitments to Fort Hills and Sturgeon will approach the price tag of up to $12.8 billion on an expansion scheduled to begin early in 2007 by the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, which also has a Fort McMurray Mine and Edmonton-area upgrader. The Sturgeon site will go into operation in three phases. The first stage is scheduled to start producing in 2011 at a rate of 130,000 to 145,000 barrels per day.

    As the refinery-ready synthetic oil begins flowing, construction will start immediately on two plant additions of about 85,000 barrels a day each.

    Requirements for upgrader construction workers are expected to peak in 2009 at 4,500. The project's three phases are forecast to generate a total of 24,000 man-years of work.

    The site will process up to 340,000 barrels per day of bitumen, including all Fort Hills production and additional raw material from other oilsands projects that do not include upgraders.

    By stripping unwanted materials such as charcoal-like petroleum coke and sulphur out of bitumen, the Sturgeon plant will make up to 280,000 barrels a day of premium synthetic oil. Upgrader production fetches prices up to twice as high as bitumen at refineries.

    "By integrating the Fort Hills mine with the Sturgeon upgrader we will capture the full oilsands value chain right here in Alberta," Petro-Canada oilsands chief Neil Camarta said.


    [email protected]

  • #2
    At least trying to keep jobs local, but another PHASED project to keep the juicy royalties at 1%. Thousands of jobs yet not enough kick-back to address the continuing infrastructure strains these mega-projects create in the region. Who's left with the burden? Clogged roads, potholes, poor services, rising costs....not the province or industries.

    Just keep sucking out that bitumen and as long as you send us $400 a year we're alright.