Engineering consultancy WorleyParsons has won a $402 million EPC contract for the MacKay River oil sands project in the Canadian province of Alberta.

The Australian engineering consultancy won the contract from the Mackay Operating Corporation as part of a joint venture with CPECC Canada.

Under the joint venture WorleyParsons and CPECC will be entrusted with the engineering, procurement, modularization and field construction of nine steam assisted gravity drain wells and related gathering lines for the MacKay River oil sands project, situated to the northwest of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada.

CEO Andrew Wood said that WorleyParsons was “excited to be working with MacKay Operating Corporation, and our consortium partner CPECC, on the MacKay River project.”

“We believe that our integrated EPC project delivery model combining the local strength of WorleyParsons with the expertise and capacity of our partner CPECC, offers an exciting approach for the successful delivery of this project.”

CPECC Canada is a subsidiary of the China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation (CNPC), China’s largest integrated energy company as well as the parent company of MacKay River oil sands project owner PetroChina.

PetroChina acquired full ownership of the MacKay River oil sands project in January of last year, after Calgary-based Athabasca Oil Sands Corp sold its remaining 40 per cent stake in the development. The deal caused quite a stir in the Canadian energy sector at the time, as it marked the first occasion that a Chinese firm had obtained total control of an oil sands asset.

The awarding of overseas projects in the hydrocarbons sector will hopefully boost the fortunes of WorleyParsons, whose performance has been hampered of late by weakness in the Australian mining sector.

The company posted an 8.8 per cent decline in net profits for the year to June 30, despite a 19.2 per cent rise in revenue to $8.8 billion, with chief executive Andrew Wood pointing to “challenging conditions for our industry in a number of our key markets” during the 2013 fiscal year.