Government hoping to grow petrochemical industry

By Charles Lefebvre
March 12, 2018 - 4:53pm

EDMONTON, AB — The provincial government released more details today about its proposed bill to grow the petrochemical sector in Alberta.

During a news conference in Edmonton Monday morning, Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd announced if Bill 1 is passed in the legislature, starting in 2020, the government will be committing $1 billion towards two programs to help attract more private industry to the province.

“By supporting diversification in our energy sector, we’re supporting good jobs and building an economy to last,” McCuaig said in a statement. “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.”

Bill 1, also called the Energy Diversification Act, was tabled on March 8. If passed, the province would commit $500 million in royalty credits for the second round of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program. The money would spread over four years.

$500 million would also be committed for loan guarantees and grants to create a Petrochemical Feedstock Infrastructure Program, spread over three years. The program would get under way in 2021-22.

The province previously hosted a Petrochemicals Diversification Program, awarding support to two companies in 2016. The second round would accept applications for propane, methane and ethane.

The feedstock program would focus on helping secure a larger supply of the raw components needed in petrochemical manufacturing.

The investments are in addition to the $1 billion over eight years for the previously announced Partial Upgrading Program.

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