A nearby county is optimistic about their economic future.
Teedrum Inc. and the Alberta First Nations Energy Centre have a plan in place to build a bitumen upgrading and petrochemical refining facility in Alberta's Industrial Heartland, with Lamont County being a likely landing spot.
"There's a lot that needs to be done from here on in," said Jim Newman, Lamont County’s manager of economic development. "At this point in time, we are working with realtors and setting up a meeting with Ken Horn (president of Teedrum Inc.) to see what we can do to put our best foot forward."
The project would cost around $8.5 billion and could process over 160,000 barrels of diluted bitumen (dilbit) per day.
"The economics of this project would benefit Lamont County with jobs, taxes for the county and basically the whole region," added Newman.
"You look at Strathcona County and Sturgeon County with respect to their large projects and refineries, there's always that value add that brings a lot more to the communities once they're built."
The project was originally brought forward in 2012. After limited backing by the previous provincial government, it was put on hold.
Depending on how land negotiations go, Newman suspects construction could start around 2020-21. The project would take around three years to complete.