Alberta’s Energy and Innovation Ministers Visit Heartland Region


Tour showcases over $13 billion in new industrial projects and employment for 25,000 people in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland

Heartland tourAlberta’s Industrial Heartland  – Alberta’s Energy Minister, Honourable Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education Honourable Lori Sigurdson, and local MLAs met with industry and municipal stakeholders Wednesday to tour Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, including the Sturgeon Refinery and Shell Quest site.

“Albertans expect our government to focus on creating good paying jobs and building long-term prosperity in the energy sector, and that’s exactly what we are doing by engaging with Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.” – Minister McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy.

“The heartbeat of our province beats steady thanks to the innovative thinking and hard work from Albertans determined to make their home a world-leader in energy solutions. That is nowhere more obvious than in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, where work is on-going to add value to our resources.” – Minister Sigurdson, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education.

Heartland’s Role Key in Alberta

As Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing sector and an advocate for sustainable growth, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland plays a key role in the province’s future.

For example, opportunities for new investment in the petrochemical sector can create thousands more jobs and billions in added GDP and corporate taxes. A recently released short video explains the investment opportunity and resulting benefits.

“We discussed our desire to work with the government on diversification programs that add value to our energy resources while maintaining a commitment to environmental sustainability and local communities,” explained Councillor Ed Gibbons, Chair of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA). “We would also like to applaud the government for their hard work on the Canadian Energy Strategy. This new set of guiding principles will help ensure Alberta’s resources have increased access to markets through projects such as the Energy East pipeline.”

Attracting Investment Dollars

Given the decline in commodity pricing, there exists a major opportunity in Alberta to encourage new investments in downstream industries. These industries focus on converting energy resources into consumer ready goods. Recent analysis has determined that Alberta could attract billions in new capital investment.

An example of successful programs that have worked in the past include the ethane extraction program. This resulted in over $3.5 billion in direct investment from Dow, Nova Chemicals, and Williams Energy which captures off-gasses from the oil sands and supplies ethane/ethylene from its fractionator in Redwater to Nova’s operation in Joffre, Alberta.

“We continue to see a competitive investment climate as jurisdictions from around the globe are hoping, like us, to secure new industrial projects worth billions of dollars,” commented Neil Shelly, Executive Director of AIHA. “We know from a recent study that 93% of Albertans believe it’s important to diversify the economy to include more processing of our primary oil and gas products right here in the province. We are encouraged by our new government’s commitment to bringing diversification to Alberta’s economy and efforts to attract global investment dollars that stand to benefit all Albertans.”

AIHA continues to work cooperatively with industry and other stakeholders under the Alberta Energy Plus campaign, which highlights the importance of enhancing the province’s value added sector.

For more information and regular updates on Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, visit or follow @ABHeartland on Twitter.

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association is dedicated to coordinating, advocating, and promoting sustainable industrial development in the region. The Association is a cooperative effort of Lamont County, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County, and the Cities of Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan.