Industry experts agree that renewed confidence could result in major industrial growth
Edmonton, Alberta – Energy experts and business leaders highlighted a renewed confidence in Alberta at today’s annual Stakeholder Luncheon. A capacity crowd heard from industry speakers from across the continent who explored trends in energy sector innovation and investment.
Hosted by Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, the annual event brings together over 600 leaders in business, industry, and government. Investor confidence was a key focus. In the past year alone, several project announcements, infrastructure approvals, and government programs spurring investment all combine to signal that near term future growth is likely.
“Investment is happening across the globe. Companies are spending money where the opportunity is greatest,” commented Ed Gibbons, Chair of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association. “We know Alberta has challenges. We also know that Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is an invaluable energy hub and the country’s largest hydrocarbon processing region. When you consider the energy sector projects that have recently taken a step forward, you can’t help but feel that momentum is building and investors are taking note.”
Project Updates Highlight $9 Billion in Proposed Investment
Two companies with plans to build major propane processing facilities in the region – Inter Pipeline Ltd and Pembina Pipeline Corporation – both provided highlights of their current activities. These projects, combined with ATCO Power’s planned Heartland Generating Station represent a total proposed capital investment of approximately $9 billion and 6,000 jobs for the region. This is in addition to the $10.2 billion in industrial projects recently completed or underway, including the $8.5 billion Sturgeon Refinery.
Along with industrial project construction, discussion featured the popular topic of diversifying the economy and increasing the value of Alberta’s energy resources. Highlights included partial upgrading of bitumen, carbon capture and storage, petrochemical processing to produce higher value products, and production of premium grade fuels.
“Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is helping prove that Alberta is the energy leader the world needs for the 21st century. Their commitment to innovation and collaboration made it possible to create thousands of jobs and attract major capital investments through initiatives like our Petrochemical Diversification Program. Together we will continue building an economy for the future,” shared Honourable Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
As a long-standing supporter of energy resource value adding, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association recognizes industry and government efforts to diversify the energy sector in an innovative and sustainable manner.
Keynote: Global Energy Markets and Alberta
Keynote speaker Mark Eramo, Vice President, Global Business Development – Chemicals with IHS Markit, brought an international perspective to the event. Citing an increasing global demand for chemical products, Eramo confirmed that Alberta has the potential to be a key player in this market.
“For many years, Alberta has represented a low cost source of energy and feedstocks that are leveraged by the chemical industry to produce basic chemicals and plastics. These products are consumed in the region and exported to international markets,” explained Eramo. “Recent energy market developments in North America – specifically oil and gas supply from shale – have resulted in renewed investment in basic chemicals and plastics in the US. Alberta has now re-joined the list of ‘location options’ for making competitive chemicals investments for the future.” While the tone of the day-long event was optimistic, it was recognized there are unique challenges to Alberta’s oil and gas sector. Continued efforts and collaboration by industry, government, and organizations like Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association are needed to overcome challenges such as market access, struggling economies, capacity limits on transportation infrastructure, and regulatory uncertainty.
For more information and regular updates on Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, visit www.industrialheartland.com or follow @ABHeartland on Twitter. Presentations from the event will be posted on the website as they become available.
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.