Alberta has more than doubled its available funding for projects that add value to the province’s natural gas value stream.
The government received more interest than it anticipated in the $1 billion in funding it announced earlier this year, and decided to up the available prize.
An additional $600 million is now added to the Petrochemicals Diversification Program, and an additional $500 million to the related Petrochemical Feedstock Infrastructure Program.
In March the province announced $1 billion in funding divided evenly between these two initiatives, bringing the current total available funding to $2.1 billion.
Alberta received 23 applications for projects following the March announcement, representing $60.2 billion in potential investment, the province said in a statement.
“Once again, interest has far exceeded expectations. It sends a clear signal that companies from around the world want to invest in Alberta,” said energy minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd.
The first round of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program in 2016 awarded a total of $500 million to two petrochemical projects: construction is underway on Inter Pipeline's $3.5-billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex, while a final investment decision has yet to be made on a $3.8 billion - $4.2 billion project by a joint venture of Pembina Pipeline and a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
The province said it will soon create a short list of proposed projects that have strong economic viability, demonstrate the best possible value for Albertans and meet the province’s environmental standards. From this short list, it said discussions will begin with successful proponents with plans to announce projects in the coming weeks.
The government expects its investment to help create as many as 15,500 jobs during construction of multiple facilities across the province and an additional 1,000 jobs once operational. Total private-sector investment is expected to be $20.6 billion and, once operational, the facilities will generate approximately $284 million each year in revenue to Alberta.