EPCOR signs $100 million water deal with Suncor Energy

EDMONTON, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - EPCOR Utilities Inc. will become the primary provider of potable water and domestic wastewater services at Suncor Energy's Oil Sands operations under a new deal announced today.

Under the agreement, EPCOR will acquire potable water and wastewater facilities under a sale lease-back agreement at Suncor's Steepbank, Firebag and Borealis sites for about $100 million , and will take over some wastewater operations at the Suncor Base Plant. As a result, EPCOR is providing potable water and domestic wastewater services to more than 6,000 Suncor oil sands workers.

Lease payments will be made to EPCOR over 20 years. The deal, which closed October 8, 2009, includes operations and maintenance of three wastewater treatment plants, two water treatment plants, and various collection and distribution systems. EPCOR will perform upgrades as part of regularly scheduled maintenance to the facilities over the next year.

"We are pleased to be supporting Suncor's commitment to water management in Alberta's oil sands," said Joe Gysel, Senior Vice-President of EPCOR Water Development. "This deal establishes a long-term relationship that will enable Suncor to leverage EPCOR's proven track record and expertise in operating water and wastewater facilities in western Canada. EPCOR's innovative approach enables industrial clients such as Suncor to focus on their core operations by outsourcing potable water and wastewater management."

The long-term vision is to build a total water management solution that focuses on maximizing water reuse and recycling through the integration of new technologies and waste minimization. Along with other innovations, the new agreement will include the implementation of a multiple-barrier approach to wastewater management, designed to enhance overall environmental protection and improve operational standards.

EPCOR is a trusted provider of safe, reliable and high-quality drinking water and wastewater services to more than one million people in over 50 communities in Western Canada. EPCOR now owns or operates 20 water treatment and distribution facilities and 22 wastewater systems.

About EPCOR Utilities Inc.

EPCOR's wholly-owned subsidiaries build, own and operate electrical transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, has been named one of Canada's Top 100 employers for nine consecutive years, and was selected one of Canada's 10 Most Earth-Friendly Employers in 2008. EPCOR's website is www.epcor.ca

Forward-looking Information

Certain information in this news release is forward looking and related to anticipated financial performance, events and strategies. When used in this context, words such as "will", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "intend", "target" and "expect" or similar words suggest future outcomes. By their nature, such statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, which could cause EPCOR's actual results and experience to be materially different than the anticipated results. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, operating performance, commodity prices and volumes, load settlement, regulatory and government decisions including changes to environmental and tax legislation, weather and economic conditions, competitive pressures, construction risks, availability and cost of financing, foreign exchange risks, availability of labour and management resources and the performance of partners, contractors and suppliers.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as actual results could differ materially from the plans, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, EPCOR disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason.

SOURCE EPCOR Utilities Inc.

For further information: For further information: Tim le Riche, Supervisor, External Communications, EPCOR, (780) 721-2013, tleriche@epcor.ca; or, Corporate Relations: (780) 969-8245 or toll free (877) 969-8280

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