Industrial growth continues despite surge of economic uncertainty in Alberta
Alberta’s Industrial Heartland – Industrial construction projects and plans for $14+ billion in future growth in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland will generate valuable income and employment. Details of industry’s investment plans were highlighted at the annual Stakeholder Update and Luncheon hosted by Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA).
Given lower oil prices and economic uncertainty, current and future investment plans were well received by the capacity crowd of over 500 leaders in business, industry and government.
“The cyclical nature of Alberta’s economy presents unique opportunities for investment, particularly during a downturn,” commented Wayne Woldanski, Chair of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association. “We heard today that many companies operating in the Heartland are committed to their expansion plans, given their long term optimistic outlook. Success in the Heartland region will be critical to helping counteract the slowdown in the upstream sector, diversify Alberta’s economy, and provide much needed new forms of government revenue.”
Seven major companies presented updates of their existing operations and planned industrial projects in the Heartland representing $14+ billion worth of investment. This included: ATCO, MEG Energy, North West Redwater Partnership’s Sturgeon Refinery, Pembina Pipeline, TransCanada, Plains Midstream, and Williams Energy Canada.
Insight from the panel discussion of top industry executives, biotechnology, and industry’s contributions to the community were also featured topics.
Keynote: Overcoming Energy Sector Challenges
Sharing his perspectives on energy and natural resource policy, keynote speaker Dr. Ken Green, Senior Director of Natural Resource Studies at the Fraser Institute, noted that energy production is a critical component of Canada’s economy.
“The energy sector faces some stiff headwinds as we enter 2015. New challenges include anti-energy activists, foreign government policy, and recent lower oil prices,” explained Dr. Green. “In the long-term, however, there’s room for optimism. Global energy monitoring organizations predict very strong demand for Canada’s oil over the next several decades, and the price of oil is expected to rebound somewhat from current lows.”
Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association is a cooperative effort of the Counties of Lamont, Strathcona, Sturgeon, and the Cities of Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. The Association is dedicated to coordinating, advocating, and promoting long-term sustainable development of the Heartland.