Calgary, Alberta – A Calgary-based company has been awarded a $60 million contract to demonstrate a new process for cleaning up waste from tar sands.

Newalta Corporation has signed a contract with Syncrude Canada to process mature fine tailings (MFT) for a demonstration project. The three-year contract is for Syncrude’s oil sands mine operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The contract follows two years of trial projects between Newalta and Syncrude to prove the application of centrifugation for processing MFT.

Newalta expects to start the operations on June 1, 2012. The operations will be seasonal and are expected to average approximately six months per year.

Under the terms of the contract, Newalta will design, build and operate a commercial-scale centrifugation demonstration plant to process MFT.

“This contract is an exciting opportunity to showcase our on-site services expertise and help Syncrude meet their environmental objectives in a cost-effective manner,” said Craig Wilkie, executive vice-president of Newalta. “The contract with Syncrude builds on our current base of eight contracts, including customers that are using our steam assisted gravity drainage production.”

Connect with Autos.ca