Suncor Energy and Fort McKay First Nation partner to promote business development for Aboriginals



    FORT MCKAY, AB, July 23 /CNW/ - Suncor Energy and Fort McKay First Nation
are pleased to announce a joint partnership to establish a business
"incubator", that will promote economic development and entrepreneurship in
the community of Fort McKay.
    The incubator is being designed to support entrepreneurial activities and
nurture start-up and early-stage businesses by helping them manage and plan
for long-term success. The incubator will provide small business guidance in
the areas of marketing, human resources and finance. Businesses will also have
access to office services such as phone, fax and computers during their
start-up, a 24 to 36 month period.
    "This initiative will help develop business capacity within the community
of Fort McKay," said Chief Jim Boucher. "The project will require strong
leadership support from both the Chief and Council as well as other community
leaders of Fort McKay and industry players."
    Suncor Energy is providing start-up funding up to $300,000 over three
years, as part of its commitment to the project.
    Direction and financing for the joint venture will be shared equally
between Suncor Energy and Fort McKay First Nation, with the latter operating
the initiative. The project is expected to be in operation within six months;
details relating to the application process will be made available once
complete.
    In the short-term, the incubator will be located in the Dorothy MacDonald
Business Centre in Fort McKay. It is expected to move to its permanent
location, Caribou Energy Park, a joint venture between Waiward Steel
Fabricators Ltd. and Fort McKay First Nation, within three years.
    "The Fort McKay Group of Companies has built strong relationships with
industry and has achieved nationally recognized success for its community,"
said Kirk Bailey, Suncor's executive vice president. "For Suncor, this is an
opportunity to support economic development in a more indirect way. We can
engage the entrepreneurial spirit of the Fort McKay First Nation's citizens
and have a positive impact on the economic health of the community as a whole
by maximizing the success of its entrepreneurs."
    Future plans for the Fort McKay Business Incubator will include engaging
the youth of the community through such programs as Aboriginal Junior
Achievement, School Mentorship and Youth Entrepreneur Camps.
    This initiative is part of Suncor's commitment to building long-term
relationships with Aboriginal businesses near its operations. Suncor benefits
from the proximity and local knowledge of its suppliers, while Aboriginal
businesses and communities share in the financial rewards of resource
development with a goal of helping strengthen local communities over the long
term. Suncor spent an average of more than $100 million per year over the past
three years on direct purchases from Aboriginal businesses in the Wood Buffalo
region.

    Suncor Energy Inc. is an integrated energy company headquartered in
Calgary, Alberta. Suncor's oil sands business, located near Fort McMurray,
Alberta, extracts and upgrades oil sands and markets refinery feedstock and
diesel fuel, while operations throughout Western Canada produce natural gas.
Suncor operates a refining and marketing business in Ontario with retail
distribution under the Sunoco brand. U.S.A. downstream assets include pipeline
and refining operations in Colorado and Wyoming and retail sales in the Denver
area under the Phillips 66(R) brand. Suncor's common shares (symbol: SU) are
listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.
    Suncor Energy (U.S.A.) Inc. is an authorized licensee of the Phillips
66(R) brand and marks in the state of Colorado. Sunoco in Canada is separate
and unrelated to Sunoco in the United States, which is owned by Sunoco, Inc.
of Philadelphia.





For further information:

For further information: Shawn Davis, (403) 920-8379

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