EPCOR Utilities Inc. will become the primary provider of potable water and domestic wastewater services at Suncor Energy’s oil sands operations under a new deal announced today.

Under the agreement, EPCOR will acquire potable water and wastewater facilities under a sale lease-back agreement at Suncor’s Steepbank, Firebag and Borealis sites for about $100 million, and will take over some wastewater operations at the Suncor Base Plant. As a result, EPCOR is providing potable water and domestic wastewater services to more than 6,000 Suncor oil sands workers.

Lease payments will be made to EPCOR over 20 years. The deal, which closed October 8, 2009, includes operations and maintenance of three wastewater treatment plants, two water treatment plants, and various collection and distribution systems. EPCOR will perform upgrades as part of regularly scheduled maintenance to the facilities over the next year.

The long-term vision is to build a total water management solution that focuses on maximizing water reuse and recycling through the integration of new technologies and waste minimization. Along with other innovations, the new agreement will include the implementation of a multiple-barrier approach to wastewater management, designed to enhance overall environmental protection and improve operational standards.

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