ST. ALBERT, Alta. – A firm linked to a Chinese state-owned company has been ordered to pay $1.5 million in penalties in the deaths of two foreign workers at an Alberta oilsands project.

SSEC Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty last fall to three workplace safety charges in the deaths of the Chinese temporary foreign workers.

The men died in 2007 at Canadian Natural Resources’ Horizon project near Fort McMurray when an oil storage tank they were building collapsed.

Alberta Justice spokeswoman Michelle Davio says the penalty is the largest ever imposed by a judge in the province on workplace safety charges.

The penalty includes a $200,000 fine and $1.3 million that is to be paid into a fund to help educate foreign workers.

SSEC Canada is the Canadian subsidiary of Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Company Ltd.