A major Canadian oil and gas company is set to replace the boilers at its base plant with cogeneration.

Suncor Energy said this week that it has taken the first steps in the regulatory process to replace an unspecified number of coke-fired boilers with two cogeneration units at its Oil Sands Base Plant in Alberta.

The 700 MW project has been submitted to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) and, if approved, will provide power and steam for the facility as well as exporting roughly 7 per cent of Alberta’s power demand to the grid.

The cogeneration units are anticipated to come online as the province phases out coal-fired power.

Steve Williams, the firm’s president and CEO, said: “Cogeneration provides an emissions and cost reduction opportunity for Suncor’s operations and contributes low-carbon power for the province of Alberta.”

Suncor said it is continuing to evaluate the project with the final decision expected by the fourth quarter of 2018. Should the project proceed as planned, construction is targeted to begin in 2019, with commissioning of the cogeneration units expected by 2022.

The company already has cogeneration units installed at its Oil Sands Base Plant, Firebag, MacKay River and Fort Hills facilities.