​‘Significant construction’ now underway at new Alberta petrochemical complex

Image: Joey Podlubny/JWN

Construction of Inter Pipeline’s Heartland Petrochemical Complex ramped up in the first quarter of 2018, with “significant activities” now underway.

Build of the $3.5-billion facility, which will turn 525,000 tonnes of propane per year into polypropylene pellets for use in plastics and other products, began in December 2017.

The project is benefiting from a current lack of major project development in Alberta, which results in favourable engineering, procurement and construction environment, including availability of skilled labour, Inter Pipeline said on Tuesday.

Civil construction and fabrication activities are ongoing, and the installation of support structures and foundation work has begun.

The fabrication of numerous vessels including the 800-tonne propane/propylene splitter are also well underway at off-site locations around Edmonton, and large number of key components have been procured including major compression equipment, turbines, valving and a polypropylene extruder and pelletizer package, the company said.

Major contractors include Honeywell, Fluor, Kiewit Construction Services, Grace UNIPOL and Linde Engineering.

Approximately $125 million of capital was invested on the project during the first quarter, with a total 2018 capital plan of approximately $700 million. The facility is expected to be operational in late 2021.

Inter Pipeline reported net income of $142.7 million in the first quarter of 2018 compared to $140.0 million in the first quarter of 2017.