Gateway Gazette

Alberta’s Energy Minister Tours Heartland Region

 

Over $14 billion in current and planned expansion in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland showcased to provincial government officials

Value adding and innovation in the Heartland showcased to government officials (L-R) Michael Frigge, Upgrader General Manager, Shell Scotford Site;  Honourable Frank Oberle, Minister of Alberta Energy; Jacquie Fenske, MLA Fort Saskatchewan/Vegreville; Additional Shell representative
Value adding and innovation in the Heartland showcased to government officials
(L-R)
Michael Frigge, Upgrader General Manager, Shell Scotford Site;
Honourable Frank Oberle, Minister of Alberta Energy; Jacquie Fenske, MLA Fort Saskatchewan/Vegreville; Additional Shell representative

Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta — Industrial growth continues in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland despite recent challenges to the province’s energy sector from lower oil prices. Alberta’s Energy Minister, Honourable Frank Oberle, along with local MLA Jacquie Fenske, Fort Saskatchewan/Vegreville, toured the Heartland region to witness the steady activity. Minister Oberle and MLA Fenske also met with local industry and organization representatives.

“Alberta has the expertise to produce high value energy products and I was pleased to see firsthand how the Heartland region continues to grow and attract investment. By working together, we will weather the current low price environment and ensure this region has a bright future as a leader in value-added and petro-chemical development,” said Frank Oberle, Minister of Energy.

Industrial Growth Amidst Challenges

As Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing sector, continued growth in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland helps stimulate long term investment, jobs and revenue in the petrochemical and oil sands logistics sectors. There is currently over $30 billion invested to date in the region. An additional $14 billion is under construction or planned in the near term.

“Our province is facing major challenges related to the current commodity pricing cycle, confounded by access to markets, and other external factors,” explained Wayne Woldanski, Chair of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA). “We discussed with Minister Oberle and MLA Fenske our support of the province’s continued efforts to open pipeline access to Eastern Canada and international markets. We also believe that policies to expand energy diversification in the province will provide a host of benefits for all Albertans – jobs, new markets, and stable revenue to pay for our roads, schools, and hospitals.”

Stimulating New Investment

New investment is focused on oil sands logistics, natural gas processing and manufacturing. Part of this expansion is due to Alberta’s policy and competitive tax regime. For example, the province’s ethane extraction program has stimulated over $3.5 billion in direct investment from Dow, Nova Chemicals, and others while encouraging innovation from mid-stream producers in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland such as Williams Energy. Williams captures offgas from the oil sands and supplies ethane/ethylene from its fractionator in Redwater to Nova’s operation in Joffre, Alberta.

“While we are seeing a commitment from industry to pursue many of their plans for expansion, further government programs to encourage value added investment are critical. Policies focused on producing propylene and polypropylene from propane, and other value chains such as methane will create billions of dollars in future investment, new products, and long term manufacturing jobs,” commented Neil Shelly, Executive Director of AIHA. “There is significant opportunity with lower cost feedstock from natural gas, including a range of petrochemical products. With the right policies in place, the business case for further investment is strong.” Suite 300, 9940 99 Ave http://www.industrialheartland.com Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, T8L 4G8 facebook.com/ industrialheartland 1.888.414.0032 Twitter: @ABheartland

Economic Impact of Development

A study commissioned by AIHA, Economic Impacts of Adding Value to Alberta’s Hydrocarbon Resources Study, prepared by University of Calgary Economist Ron Schlenker reported on the economic impact of new value added development. Current and planned projects will create long term manufacturing jobs that pay $1.8 billion a year in salaries, and increase provincial revenue by over $6.5 billion and federal revenue by $10 billion over a 10 year period respectively.

The report conservatively assesses the impact of a number of petrochemical and hydrocarbon processing projects already sanctioned or being considered in Alberta. Despite the conservative assessment, the report demonstrates significant benefit for long term stable corporate taxes. These revenues provide ongoing stable income to all levels of government and offset the current and future fluctuation in oil and gas commodity prices.

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

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

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

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