Gateway Gazette

Diversification Program to Boost Alberta’s Economy


Petrochemical sector could realize billions of dollars in new investment

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland (February 1, 2016) – Alberta’s economy will realize a long term boost from a new program aimed at spurring investment in the petrochemical sector. The Petrochemicals Diversification Program announced today by the Government of Alberta could generate $3 – $4 billion in new investment in the province.

The program is aimed at encouraging methane and propane upgrading, with the potential of two to three new facilities being built in Alberta. This takes advantage of Alberta’s large supply of natural gas and the growing global demand for higher value products.

“We know the majority of Albertans support further processing of our resources within provincial borders so we can benefit from the revenue and jobs,” stated Ed Gibbons, Chair of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association. “Our Association strongly supports this program as part of the government’s long term vision for economic growth and diversification.”

The addition of new petrochemical facilities in the province will provide a much needed market for our natural gas resources. Instead of shipping the lower value resources out, the province will benefit from processing these resources first into higher value products. Benefits include economic growth through gross domestic product, new sources of taxation for governments, and job creation.

Construction and long term operation of several new industrial facilities is expected to generate thousands of engineering, transportation, trades, and other professional jobs. The province’s established highly skilled labour force will be a key asset in facility construction and maintenance.

“We’ve talked to several international companies who are very keen on investing in Alberta, but our higher construction costs and distance from many consumer markets are a real challenge,” explained Neil Shelly, Executive Director of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association. “This new program helps level the playing field. We anticipate it will be the tipping point for investors, and the scales will now point in the direction of Alberta.”

For more information on the Petrochemicals Diversification Program, visit www.alberta.ca. 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 dedicated to coordinating, advocating, and promoting long-term sustainable development of the Heartland. The municipal partnership includes Lamont County, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County, and the Cities of Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan.

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