Above: Minister McCuaig-Boyd announces details of Bill 1
by Morinville News Staff
The government says it’s Energy Diversification Act, tabled in the legislature Mar. 8, will result in taking action to grow Alberta’s petrochemicals sector and increase ethane supplies. It is something the province believes will create new jobs, attract private investment and help diversify the energy sector.
The province says a combination of loan guarantees, grants and royalty credits would support an expanded Petrochemicals Diversification Program as well as another program that would ensure needed infrastructure for petrochemical feedstock.
The $10 billion initiative, including the province’s previously announced Partial Upgrading Program, is expected to support approximately 8,000 construction jobs and hundreds of operational jobs once facilities are running.
Alberta’s commitment would be up to $2 billion and include $500 million in royalty credits over for years for a second round of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program, $500 million over three years in loan guarantees and grants to create a Petrochemical Feedstock Infrastructure Program, and $1 billion over eight years for a Partial Upgrading Program, expected to be made up of $800 million in loan guarantees and $200 million in grants.
“By supporting diversification in our energy sector, we’re supporting good jobs and building an economy to last,” said Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy, in a release Monday. “That’s why we’re taking action to ensure Alberta is even more competitive for major private investments in the petrochemicals sector. Adding more value to our raw products at home means more jobs for Albertans and getting top dollar for our resources.”
Two successful applicants were awarded support under the first round of the program in 2016. Calgary-based Inter Pipeline received credits for a portion of its $3.5-billion propane-to-polypropylene complex which is already under construction in the Industrial Heartland near Fort Saskatchewan.
The second round of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program would expand to accommodate proposals that include using ethane, in addition to propane and methane.
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Alberta’s petrochemical manufacturing industry has $8.2 billion in annual exports and employs more than 7,500 people directly.