Investment was first and foremost during the Alberta Throne speech, and the Resource Diversification Council stood with the Minister of Energy as she announced Bill 1 – The Energy Diversification Act.
“The Energy Diversification Act will enable Alberta to build on its strengths to attract new investment and add value to its energy resources,” said Lori Kent, Executive Director of RDC. “New petrochemical and hydrocarbon processing investments in Alberta will result in a stable source of revenue for the province, create long-term high-paying jobs, and support many small-to-medium sized businesses.”
Since the inception of the Resource Diversification Council, the organization has advocated for expanding the capabilities of Alberta’s resource sector through diversification.
RDC members have well over $20 billion in proposed projects at various stages, which will use a variety of feed stocks such as natural gas, natural gas liquids and bitumen.
If these projects are built in Alberta, they would mean billions of dollars more for the province and municipalities. Over their operating lifetimes, they would add $56 billion to Alberta and Canada’s GDP.
Construction would add direct full-time employment of 42,000, and thousands more full-time, high-quality jobs would be created to operate these facilities. These projects are also likely to result in the creation of spin off industries and facilities in Alberta, generating more jobs and GDP for the province.
However, the global investment landscape has become increasingly competitive.
Traditionally, Canada has received 10 per cent of overall investment in North America. But over the last five years, that has dropped to less than 2 per cent. Jurisdictions such as The U.S. Gulf Coast have aggressive and well-established state and municipal incentives that are customizable to project needs and have resulted in a vast majority of new investment in petrochemical processing being located in this region.
“Alberta, and Canada, need to compete for these projects. Capital costs are higher in Alberta and other jurisdictions are tilting the playing field – and winning,” said Kent. “Bill 1 signals to the investment community that Alberta is being a responsible owner of its energy resources and is ready to compete for investments because the value those investments will bring to the province far outweigh any outlay.”
(Resource Diversification Council)