Executive says oilsands project will take form

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FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — The TrueNorth Energy Fort Hills project will get off the ground, a company executive has told local media.

The project, which would be the fourth-largest oilsands operation in the region, has had difficulty getting into gear due to uncertainty over the Kyoto Accord and difficult market conditions. However, D’Arcy Levesque, vice-president of public and government affairs, told local media the $3.5-billion project will proceed.

“The project will go forward at some point,” he tells local media. “It’s just a question of timing…and the level of activity the board thinks is appropriate.”

TrueNorth’s board of directors and that of its parent company, Flint Hills Resources, will make a decision before Christmas on when to proceed with the project. The companies have been looking for investors to help offset some of the startup costs.

“We continue to focus on finding a partner in a challenging marketplace,” says Levesque. Already, $175 million has been invested in the project. Once it gets off the ground, the increased oilsands activity will provide a shot in the arm to trucking companies servicing Northern Alberta’s oilfields.

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