OPTI Canada Appoints David Halford Chief Financial Officer



    TSX: OPC

    CALGARY, April 3 /CNW/ - OPTI Canada Inc. (OPTI) announced today that
David Halford has been appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer of
OPTI, effective April 10, 2007.
    Mr. Halford brings to OPTI over 20 years financial management and
strategic planning experience focused on the energy industry, including
corporate and project finance. Most recently, Mr. Halford held the position of
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at BA Energy in Calgary. Prior, Mr.
Halford was the Chief Financial Officer of Irving Oil, a New Brunswick-based
refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Before joining Irving Oil, Mr.
Halford held a variety of senior-level corporate finance and accounting roles
at Deloitte and Touche, LLP, Price Waterhouse and MacLean Hunter Limited, all
of Toronto.
    Mr. Halford is a Chartered Accountant and holds a B.A. from the
University of Western Ontario.
    "David's expertise in leading financial teams in the refining industry
will be an asset as OPTI commences commercial operations with the first
synthetic crude oil volumes from our OPTI-operated Upgrader anticipated in
2007," said Sid Dykstra, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPTI.
"Further, his experience in corporate and project finance will support OPTI's
plans to reach 180,000 bbl/d synthetic crude production via our multi-phase
development strategy. We are very pleased to welcome David to the OPTI team."

    About OPTI

    OPTI Canada Inc. is a Calgary, Alberta-based company focused on
developing the fourth and next major integrated oil sands project in Canada,
the Long Lake Project, in a 50/50 joint venture with Nexen Inc. The first
phase of the Project consists of 72,000 barrels per day of SAGD (steam
assisted gravity drainage) oil production integrated with an OPTI-operated
upgrading facility, using OPTI's proprietary OrCrude(TM) process and
commercially available hydrocracking and gasification. Through gasification,
this configuration substantially reduces the exposure to and the need to
purchase natural gas. The Project is expected to produce 58,500 bbl/d of
products, primarily 39 degrees API premium sweet crude with low sulphur
content, making it a highly desirable refinery feedstock. OPTI's common shares
trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol OPC.
    Information about OPTI is available at http://www.opticanada.com.
Additional information regarding the Long Lake Project is available at
http://www.longlake.ca.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    Certain statements contained herein are forward-looking statements,
including statements relating to: OPTI's operations; anticipated financial
performance; business prospects, expansion plans and strategies; OPTI's plans
and expectations concerning the use and performance of the OrCrude(TM) Process
and other related technologies; the cost, development and operation of the
Long Lake Project and OPTI's relationship with Nexen Inc. Forward-looking
information typically contains statements with words such as "anticipate,"
"estimate," "expect," "potential," "could" or similar words suggesting future
outcomes. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking
information because it is possible that expectations, predictions, forecasts,
projections and other forms of forward-looking information will not be
achieved by OPTI. By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous
assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties. A change in any one of these
factors could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those
projected in the forward-looking information. Although OPTI believes that the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, OPTI
can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.
Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and
projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties which could cause
actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by OPTI and
described in the forward-looking statements or information. The
forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions which may
prove to be incorrect. In addition to other assumptions identified herein, we
have made assumptions regarding, among other things: market costs and other
variables affecting operating costs of the Project; the ability of the Long
Lake joint venture partners to obtain equipment, services and supplies,
including labour, in a timely and cost-effective manner; the availability and
costs of financing; oil prices and market price for the PSC output of the
OrCrude(TM) Upgrader; foreign currency exchange rates and hedging risks;
government regulations and royalty regimes; the degree of risk that
governmental approvals may be delayed or withheld; other risks and
uncertainties described elsewhere in this document or in OPTI's other filings
with Canadian securities authorities.
    Readers should be aware that the list of factors, risks and uncertainties
set forth above are not exhaustive. Readers should refer to OPTI's current
annual information form, which is available at www.sedar.com, for a detailed
discussion of these factors, risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking
statements or information contained in this news release are made as of the
date hereof and OPTI undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any
forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable laws
or regulatory policies.





For further information:

For further information: Alison Trollope, Investor Relations Manager,
(403) 218-4705; OPTI Canada Inc., Suite 2100, 555 - 4th Ave. S.W., Calgary,
Alberta, Canada, T2P 3E7

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OPTI CANADA INC.

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