by Morinville News Staff

Alberta’s new Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP) received 16 applications locally and from around the world by the Apr. 22 deadline, something the province says represents more than $20 billion in potential investment in Alberta.

The Government of Alberta launched its new $500 million Petrochemicals Diversification Program Feb. 1 in what the government said was its continued efforts to diversify Alberta’s economy by providing royalty credits through a competitive application process to select petrochemical facilities.

As petrochemical facilities do not benefit from royalty credits because they do not pay royalties, credits earned by an approved facility would be traded or sold to an oil or natural gas producer who would use the credits to reduce their royalty payments to the government.

The 16 applications announced June 6 are now under consideration through a third-party monitor. The province says final decisions will happen within 60 days.

“Companies across the globe want to invest billions in Alberta,” said Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd in a June 6 news release, adding the government received double the applications it expected. “By investing in new ways to get every bit of value out of our energy resources, we are positioning Alberta to be a major player in the growing global demand for petrochemical products.” The minister went on to say those investments will help diversify the energy markets and create stable jobs.

Naushad Jamani, Resource Diversification Council Chair and Senior Vice President, Olefins and Feedstock, NOVA Chemicals applauded the government’s decision to move forward with the PDP.

“This investment will help create world scale petrochemical plants, diversify our energy products and increase government revenues — while creating thousands of permanent high-paying, skilled jobs in Alberta,” Jamani said. “By capturing greater value for our resources and securing a larger share of world markets, we have the opportunity to get Alberta off the roller coaster of commodity prices, and set the stage to be a major player in refined products that can be shipped all over the world.”

Th province expects to create up to 3000 jobs during the construction phase of the program’s roll out, and 1000 jobs once the petrochemical facilities commence operation.

Information about the Petrochemicals Diversification Program, including the competitive selection process, is available at www.energy.alberta.ca.

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