Notley seeking industry interest in increased refining capacity for Alberta
As part of a made-in-Alberta strategy to get more value for Alberta's energy resources, Premier Rachel Notley announced the government is issuing a Request for Expression of Interest to determine business cases for investing in a new refinery in Alberta or tied to Alberta production.
"For decades, Albertans have been talking about getting more value for our oil here at home. So let's stop the talk, end the decades of dreaming and start making more of the products the world needs here at home," Notley said. "It's time to grab the bull by the horns and to do more refining and upgrading that adds value and creates jobs here. The future is coming and it will be made in Alberta."
Building a new refinery would create good-paying, long-term jobs for Albertans. New refining capacity would also help lower the oil price differential over the long term, protecting the province from a lack of capacity to export oil, and making sure we get full value for the energy resources owned by all Albertans.
"Large industrial value-add energy investments help provide economic resilience and diversification, and create highly skilled, well-paying jobs for decades. Alberta has abundant feedstock, skilled labour and the ability to refine our resources to high-value products the world needs," said David Chappell, chair, Resource Diversification Council. "There is significant international competition for these projects and for Alberta to compete, government and industry must work together. We commend the government's focus on ensuring that the value of Alberta's resources stays with Albertans."
Projects must have a strong return on investment for Albertans. Any proposed facility will consume Alberta-produced oil feedstock and produce marketable refined products.
The government will consider interest in new greenfield investments or an expansion of facilities at an existing brownfield site. Submissions will be accepted until Feb. 8, 2019, with the results helping inform next steps that may include issuing a Request for Proposals to construct a new refinery.
Companies will be required to submit their engineering design and technical feasibility, project timing and execution plan, plans for sales points and transportation to market, participation of Indigenous communities, expected environmental performance, financing to complete the project, and identification and estimates of revenues to benefit Albertans.
"Building Trades of Alberta has always believed you should refine it where you mine it. By doing that, you maximize the value of our resources for the people of Alberta, while creating good jobs for skilled trades workers in our province. We thank the government for exploring new options for refining and upgrading here in Alberta," said Terry Parker, executive director, Building Trades of Alberta.
Expressions of Interest have been used in the past to obtain industry and public suggestions on major projects and how the government can utilize existing interest to maximize the value for Albertans.
The work of the Energy Diversification Advisory Committee was focused on securing Alberta's future in a more diversified oil and gas sector. It's good to see another action that builds on Alberta's strengths, including a highly skilled workforce and world-class resources. This is another sign the government is focused on made-in-Alberta solutions to ensure Alberta's energy economy is built to last, according to Jeanette Patell & Gil McGowan, co-chairs, Energy Diversification Advisory Committee.