Innovative ideas for a sustainable future
In 1967, Suncor pioneered commercial development of Canada's Athabasca oil sands and since then, has grown to become a globally-competitive, Canadian-based integrated energy company with a balanced portfolio of high quality assets, a strong balance sheet and significant growth prospects.
Near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Suncor extracts and upgrades oil sands into high-quality crude oil products and diesel fuel. In Western Canada, Suncor explores for, develops and produces natural gas.
The international and offshore businesses focus on operations in the North Sea, the East Coast of Canada and areas of Libya and Syria.
Across Canada and Colorado, Suncor's downstream operations market refined products to industrial, commercial and retail customers. In 2008, Suncor supplied about 15 percent of all petroleum products sold. The lubricants business is the largest producer of quality lubricant base stock in Canada.
Suncor is pursuing a parallel path of energy development. This includes development of conventional and unconventional energy resources, as well as investments in clean, renewable energy.
Suncor's four wind power farms serve as an alternative to hydrocarbon-fuelled generation. These farms offset the equivalent of approximately 284,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The company is actively pursuing additional wind power investments.
The company's ethanol facility located in the township of St.Clair, Ontario is Canada's largest and contributes to CO2 emission reductions of up to 300,000 tonnes per year.
Suncor's approach to sustainable development doesn't stop with its ethanol and wind projects. It's also applying future thinking to today's issues, like tailings management. Tailings - the left over material produced during the extraction process that separates bitumen from the oil sand - is an important issue for Suncor and its stakeholders.
In 2010, Suncor will become the first oil sands company in the world to complete surface reclamation of a tailings pond. While existing approaches to tailings reclamation are feasible, the company has been striving to shorten the time to reclaim.
Suncor has applied to regulatory authorities to implement Tailings Reduction Operations (TRO) at its oil sands mining site. The new approach represents a significant advance in tailings management and involves converting fluid fine tailings more rapidly into a solid landscape suitable for reclamation. It's expected to significantly reduce the length of time it takes to reclaim land used in oil sands development.
Kirk Bailey, director with the Alberta Chamber of Resources and executive vice-president of Suncor's oil sands business is proud of the company's history and is excited about its future.
"Celebrating this reclamation milestone and our new technology is a source of pride for me, for our employees and hopefully for our stakeholders," he said. "These achievements are important steps in managing our environmental footprint."