Suncor’s Fort Hills, an oil sands project expected to bring the Alberta government $8 billion in royalties, had its grand opening north of Fort McMurray Monday.

The project has employed around 10,000 Albertans and will be important for the province in a number of ways.

“This project is good for working people,” Premier Rachel Notley said at the grand opening. “It matters for the 8 to 9,000 people who worked to build it. It matters to the 1,400 people who will be working to run it. It matters to our province’s ability to build up our schools and hospitals.”

Fort Hills has a lifespan of 50 years.

It will produce fewer than 150,000 barrels per day while the project is in its test run phase, but it can manufacture approximately 194,000.

With files from Nahreman Issa