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Alberta to support petrochemical upgrading

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Premier of Alberta, Canada, Rachel Notley has announced the first set of plans as part of a ‘made-in-Alberta’ strategy to keep more value from the province’s resources.

Alberta will double support for petrochemical upgrading, with total investment now reaching CAN$2.1 billion to promote stable petrochemical upgrading and more jobs now and in the future.

This investment is expected to help create as many as 15 500 jobs during construction of multiple facilities across the province and an additional 1000 jobs once operational. Total private-sector investment is expected to be CAN$20.6 billion and, once operational, the facilities will generate approximately CAN$284 million each year in revenue to the province.

Premier Notley said: “We’re fighting for Albertans to make sure we get every dollar of value for the oil and gas resources that belong to them. For decades, we’ve been settling for less while seeing new jobs and investment go south of the border. The time is now to think big, take action and finally upgrade more of our energy at home.”

The increased investment follows strong interest in programmes under the Energy Diversification Act announced earlier this year. Alberta received 23 applications for petrochemical upgrading projects from Canadian and international companies, representing CAN$60.2 billion in potential investment in Alberta’s energy sector.

Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy, said: “Once again, interest has far exceeded expectations. It sends a clear signal that companies from around the world want to invest in Alberta. We need to put our foot on the gas pedal, accelerate energy upgrading in our province and seize this great opportunity to bring even more jobs and value to Albertans.”

The government will soon create a short list of proposed projects that have strong economic viability, demonstrate the best possible value for Albertans and meet the standards of the province’s plan to do the right thing for the environment. From this short list, discussions will begin with successful proponents with plans to announce projects in the coming weeks.

Investing in petrochemical diversification

The second round of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program now provides a total of CAN$1.1 billion in in future royalty credits for approved projects that will build manufacturing facilities to turn ethane, methane and propane into more valuable products. The initial CAN$500 million of support was announced in March 2018 and a further CAN$600 million in November 2018.

These new manufacturing facilities require the basic building blocks that they can then convert into more valuable products. Alberta’s support for projects in this initial step of the upgrading process, the Petrochemical Feedstock Infrastructure Program, has been doubled to CAN$1 billion to secure the raw materials needed to keep this growing energy sector strong.

A total of 23 applications have been received for both programs, representing potential investment of more than CAN$60 billion from Canadian and international companies.

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