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Reuters: Shell Canada says no nukes for oil sands operation

Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:59pm ET
By Scott Haggett

CALGARY, Alberta, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) won’t be using nuclear power at its extensive Canadian oil sands operations, the head of the company’s Canadian unit said on Wednesday.

Adrian Loader, president of Shell Canada, quashed speculation it could be a customer for a 2,200-megawatt nuclear plant touted for northern Alberta. Shell plans to produce its own power for its oil sands projects.

“We are not currently pursuing the nuclear option in terms of energy supply. Let’s be very clear about that,” he said. “We do actively look at alternatives to the current electricity generation…If there were to be a nuclear facility we would look at that as an option, bearing in mind economics, bearing in mind sustainable development and all other factors.”

Shell had been named in some media reports as potential customer for a C$6.2 billion ($6 billion) nuclear power plant being contemplated for Peace River, a small town in northern Alberta.

Shell is planning the 100,000 Carmon Creek oil sands project in the Peace River region, one of a number of new oil sands projects the company plans that could boost output to nearly 800,000 barrels a day over the next several years.

Energy Alberta Corp, a privately held firm set up to push the nuclear proposal, said in August it had agreed to supply an unnamed company with 70 percent of electricity from the proposed facility.

However, it retreated from that statement earlier this week, saying it had not signed any agreements to supply large amounts of power to a single customer.

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