Suncor announces preliminary federal ethanol funding approval

Suncor Energy Products Inc. today announced that its proposal for funding was approved by Natural Resources Canada’s Ethanol Expansion Program and, subject to final approvals, Suncor will receive a $22 million contribution towards the construction of an ethanol production facility.

“The Prime Minister, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Agriculture should be applauded for their leadership in renewable fuels like ethanolized gasoline,” said Tom Ryley, Suncor’s executive vice president. “This is a commitment on everyone’s part to cleaner fuels and cleaner air.”

Suncor is proposing to build a $120 million ethanol plant on land in the Sarnia area. The proposed ethanol plant would be a world-class facility capable of producing more than 200 million litres of ethanol that would be blended into Sunoco gasolines (Sunoco retail stations in Ontario are owned by Suncor Energy Products). Ethanol is an alcohol that is made from corn or grain. Suncor plans to make the ethanol at the plant from regionally-grown corn.

“Suncor is a leader in providing premium products that combine advanced performance with environmental leadership. This proposed investment in an ethanol facility is part of our commitment to environmental innovation and sustainability,” said Ryley.

Suncor’s next steps are to continue with planning, design, engineering and stakeholder consultation on the proposed project. Suncor will also work with the federal government to finalize the terms of the agreement with respect to details of the federal contribution. Suncor will announce more about its consultation, planning and engineering processes and timelines shortly.

“We remain very committed to listening and responding to what the Sarnia community and our neighbours think. Consultation is very important to us. We want to keep the community informed about what we’re doing, and we want to respond to the concerns of the community when we make decisions,” said Ryley.

Should Suncor receive final approvals, construction would begin by mid-2004 and be complete by mid-2006. If the project proceeds, Suncor intends to construct an ethanol facility similar to those recently built in the United States. These facilities use state-of-the-art technology to produce ethanol in a safe and efficient manner. Thermal oxidizer technology, which scrubs emissions and reduces odours, is planned for Suncor’s proposed facility in Sarnia.

Sunoco is the only major gasoline retailer and one of few retailers in Canada, to sell ethanol-blend gasolines in Ontario. All Sunoco gasolines contain ten per cent ethanol at no additional cost to customers. Ethanol-blend gasolines burn cleaner and help reduce emissions that contribute to smog. They cut emissions of carbon monoxide by up to 30 per cent and reduce unburned hydrocarbons in older vehicles.

Suncor Energy Products Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suncor Energy Inc., an integrated energy company, based in Calgary, AB. In addition to a refinery in Sarnia, Suncor Energy Products has a network of more than 300 Sunoco-branded retail and Fleet Fuel cardlock sites and has a 50 per cent joint venture interest in over 200 Pioneer and UPI retail sites. Suncor Energy Products manufactures, distributes and markets transportation fuels, heating oils and petrochemicals primarily in Ontario. The company offers consumers Sunoco products and services online through the company’s web site at www.sunoco.ca.

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For more information:

Neil Levine
416-733-7224

For potential suppliers or contractors, please contact Gord Pinard, Project Director, Ethanol Project at gpinard@suncor.com.

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