A great first step by the Provincial Government to alter the economy and get people back to work is how Alberta's Industrial Heartland is describing the Petrochemicals Diversification Program.
The Provincial Government is awarding $500 million worth of royalty credits to petrochemical facilities.
Alberta's Industrial Heartland Executive Director Neil Shelly says they're now getting the word out to the international investment world Alberta is now in business. "They (Alberta's Industrial Heartland) think the program could be the final piece of the puzzle to getting a lot of project that are maybes or could bes around here, into real projects and putting shovels in the ground." "We've talked with numerous companies that have been very interested in Alberta, they've been very close but because of some disadvantages we have, it costs more to build here, weather conditions being the way they are, we have to build things more robust than the U.S. Gulf Coast, and transportation to markets." "Even with the conditions slowing down here in Alberta, labour and construction costs can be higher here." Shelly adds they think the program will answer questions for companies like Williams Energy Canada "Who have publicly announced they're looking at this type of project in this region" as well as probably half a dozen other companies. "That have been out here, looked around and said they're looking for answers from the Government."
Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jessica Littlewood notes the program has lots of companies like Williams Energy Canada wanting to come and create more value with our resources such as propane. "We already have a strong petrochemicals industry in Fort Saskatchewan. "This (Petrochemicals Diversification Program) gives us more opportunity for those people to come here and do business. "This is what economic diversification in Alberta looks like, it takes some of the volatilty of that boom and bust cycle out when we can actually upgrade and do things of that right here."