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Veolia Wins Oil Sands Water-Treatment Contract From Shell

Veolia Environnement SA, the largest European water company, will build a water-treatment plant for Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s steam-assisted oil sands operations in Canada.

Veolia’s system will allow Shell to produce 50,000 tons of steam a day that’s injected into underground reservoirs of bitumen to allow the fossil fuel to flow to the surface. About 99 percent of the water used to make the steam will be recycled, the French company said today in a statement.

Shell and other oil-sands producers consume large volumes of water to extract bitumen from northern Alberta. As production of crude doubles in the province over the next decade, demand for water will also rise, according to the Pembina Institute, an environment think tank.

Veolia’s treatment system will employ warm-lime softening, filtration and ion exchange to help clean the recovered water, the Paris-based company said today without disclosing terms of the contract.

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