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Alberta doubles down on investment in province’s oil sector

Don Horne   


Premier Rachel Notley announced the first set of plans as part of a “made-in-Alberta” strategy to keep more value from that province’s resources, doubling its support for petrochemical upgrading to the tune of $2.1 billion.

“We’re fighting for Albertans to make sure we get every dollar of value for the oil and gas resources that belong to them,” says Notley. “For decades, we’ve been settling for less while seeing new jobs and investment go south of the border. The time is now to think big, take action and finally upgrade more of our energy at home.”

By taking action now, this investment is expected to help create as many as 15,500 jobs during construction of multiple facilities across the province and an additional 1,000 jobs once operational.

Total private-sector investment is expected to be $20.6 billion and, once operational, the facilities will generate approximately $284 million each year in revenue to the province.


The increased investment follows strong interest in programs under the Energy Diversification Act announced earlier in 2018. Alberta received 23 applications for petrochemical upgrading projects from Canadian and international companies, representing $60.2 billion in potential investment in Alberta’s energy sector.

“Once again, interest has far exceeded expectations. It sends a clear signal that companies from around the world want to invest in Alberta,” says Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, minister of energy. “We need to put our foot on the gas pedal, accelerate energy upgrading in our province and seize this great opportunity to bring even more jobs and value to Albertans.”

The government will soon create a short list of proposed projects that have strong economic viability, and“demonstrate the best possible value for Albertans.” From this short list, discussions will begin with successful proponents with plans to announce projects in the coming weeks.

Alberta is building on the success of a 2016 program which committed $500 million in royalty credits and has already resulted in construction of Inter Pipeline’s $3.5-billion petrochemical complex east of Edmonton.


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