Above: Premier Notley announces the next step for energy diversification with (L-R) Naushad Jamani, senior vice-president, Nova Chemicals, Gil McGowan, co-chair, EDAC, Minister McCuaig-Boyd, Minister Bilous, Jeanette Patell, co-chair, EDAC and Mark Plamondon, executive director, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.
by Morinville News staff
The province announced Monday that Alberta would leverage billions in new private-sector investment to create thousands of jobs through a diversified energy industry.
Support for full-scale commercialization of partial-upgrading technologies will be among those next steps for the government.
Partial upgrading reduces bitumen’s thickness, allowing it to flow through pipelines easier without having to be blended with diluent.
The government believes partial upgrading would enhance oil sands competitiveness by reducing industry costs, increasing pipeline capacity and enabling more refineries to process Alberta bitumen product.
“We are blessed with a greater variety of natural resources than anywhere in the world, but right now we’re not getting full value for them,” Premier Notley said in a news release Monday morning. “As we fight for new pipelines and a better price for our oil, we must also create the right conditions for investment and jobs in oil and gas processing and manufacturing. This is the same vision Premier Lougheed had for Alberta, and I’m proud to move that vision closer to reality.”
The government will support up to $1 billion for partial upgrading over eight years beginning in 2019-20. This would include a number of fiscal tools, including loan guarantees and grants. It is expected the investment would leverage construction of two to five partial upgrading facilities worth up to $5 billion in private investment, and creating 4,000 construction jobs and 200 full-time jobs during operation.
The University of Calgary has estimated partial upgrading could be worth up to $22 billion in GDP growth for Alberta over 20 years.