​Alberta announces new 10-year program to attract petrochemical projects

Heartland Petrochemcial Complex construction Image: Inter Pipeline

A new 10-year grant program will attract a wave of investment to the province’s petrochemical sector, says the provincial government.

On Thursday, the Alberta government unveiled its Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program.

More details about eligibility, process, governance and reporting requirements will be available when the program is officially launched in early fall. Meanwhile the government will work with industry over the summer to finalize the program guidelines.

“While Alberta is already a Canadian leader in petrochemicals manufacturing, the sky is the limit for this sector’s benefits to our province,” said Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity. “Over the last 10 years, petrochemical investment in the United States reached $250 billion, more than 10 times what was invested in Canada. With our affordable 300-year supply of natural gas, technically skilled and educated workforce, and respected innovation and research sectors, Alberta is ready to seize the opportunity to become a global destination for petrochemical manufacturing, benefiting all Albertans.”

Key features include:

  • A 10-year program period during which eligible projects must be built and operational.
  • Adopting an open and transparent funding process, whereby every project that meets the program’s criteria will receive funding once built and operational. Government will no longer pick winners and losers through a private evaluation process.
  • Grants – instead of royalty credits – to be issued to companies after eligible projects are operational. In the current economic climate, grants are the most effective way to attract investment. Grants allow companies to better account for the full value of the incentive provided when calculating their project’s return on investment.
  • Making the funds available throughout the program’s duration once the facilities are in service, in order to align with typical business investment cycles.
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