Inter Pipeline, Pembina update status of new Alberta petrochemical plants

Field work on two new propane-based petrochemical facilities in Alberta is advancing, with one project over the halfway spending mark and the other into early works and contracting.

As of the end of September, Inter Pipeline Ltd. says it has invested approximately $1.9 billion of the estimated $3.5-billion capital cost of the Heartland Petrochemical Complex, a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) facility under construction near Fort Saskatchewan.

The company reported $337.6 million in capital spending on the project for the third quarter, for the procurement of materials and construction services.

“Milestones for the third quarter include completing piling activities with approximately 6,500 pilings installed, commencing structural steel erection for the polypropylene plant, and installing the first major components of the central utility block,” Inter Pipeline said earlier this month.

“The last major equipment lifts for the complex were also completed in the quarter with the installation of the propane dehydrogenation flare stack and the 300-tonne polypropylene purge bin.”

Construction of the complex began in early 2018 and is scheduled for completion in late 2021. Activities continue to advance according to cost and schedule targets, Inter Pipeline said.

Meanwhile, early works site preparation is underway for Pembina Pipeline Corporation’s PDH/PP project in the Fort Saskatchewan region, the company said earlier this month in its third quarter results.

Pembina and partner Canada Kuwait Petroleum Corporation gave the go-ahead to the $4.5-billion project in February 2019.

Engineering, procurement and construction bids have been received and are currently being reviewed, Pembina said. Its spend to-date is tallied at $90 million.The project is expected to be in service in mid-2023.

Both new PDH/PP projects have committed economic support through Alberta's Petrochemicals Diversification Program in the form of future royalty credits.

Image: Construction at the Heartland Petrochemical Complex in September 2019. Image: Joey Podlubny/JWN

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