The local economy is looking up, according to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA).
 
At their annual stakeholders event, AIHA executive director Mark Plamondon spoke to the media about the future of the region.
 
"We're very optimistic," he said. "The reason we're optimistic is because a lot of the future investments expected in the Industrial Heartland is in the petrochemical sector. That is taking natural gas resources, which is a low-cost resource right now, and processing it to a value added product."
 
The association has high hopes of attracting $30 billion in new investment to the region by 2030.
 
"This government’s Made in Alberta upgrading program is a crucial element to ensuring these value-add investments happen in Alberta," Plamondon added. "Upgrading more of our resources here at home means more jobs and more investment in our local communities, with new value chains that will help diversify our economy for generations to come.”
 
With pipelines being a hot topic of conversation lately, Plamondon said the association is not affected as much as people may think.
 
"The majority of products in the Industrial Heartland are moved by rail. We are of the view that the feedstock for these plants will be competitive here for a long-time and that's the reason that companies are looking to invest here," he explained.
 
On Tuesday (Jan.22), the heartland got another massive boost, as a Calgary-based company announced they'll be investing $2 billion in an upgrading facility.

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