Premier Notley announces private investment in a new petrochemical upgrading facility alongside David Chappell (r), Patrick Bergen and Pyramid Prefab Piping staff.
From the Province of Alberta
Made-in-Alberta plan attracts new jobs, investment
Alberta is taking a significant step forward on a more diversified economy with a project that supports hundreds of jobs and adds more value to our energy resources.
If the plan is finalized, Inter Pipeline Ltd. would invest about $600 million in a new petrochemical upgrading facility that would produce more valuable consumer products derived from propane, including acrylic acid that is used in many everyday consumer products. This major private investment is unlocked by support from Premier Rachel Notley’s Made-in-Alberta energy diversification strategy.
The project would build on the company’s supply and knowledge of propylene, a product it already produces at the company’s other petrochemical facilities east of Edmonton. Construction would create about 600 jobs with another 50 long-term positions supporting the local economy once the facility is fully up and running.
“For decades, Albertans settled for less while new jobs and investment went south of the border. So we’re grabbing the bull by the horns, fighting for a Made-in-Alberta plan that represents the single largest energy diversification effort since the days of Peter Lougheed. We’re proud to support upgrading projects like Inter Pipeline’s because they mean more good jobs and top dollar for the energy resources that belong to all Albertans.”
Inter Pipeline’s supply of propylene, a gas that results from adding value to raw propane, creates the opportunity to further leverage Alberta’s natural resource strengths and extend the value chain. By producing acrylic acid used in things like adhesives, floor polishes and paints, this project increases the likelihood of attracting investments in more manufacturing facilities in the future.
“Alberta’s abundance of natural resources has positioned Inter Pipeline to invest in opportunities like this that build on our strengths to extend the value chain and make products that are in demand around the world. We want to commend this government for fostering the environment for companies like ours to grow and create jobs, while competitively positioning our business in the world market.”
The announcement was made at Pyramid Prefab Piping, one of the hundreds of companies across the province benefiting from the Made-in-Alberta strategy. As a manufacturer that employs about 45 people in Calgary, Pyramid was contracted to build key components for Inter Pipeline’s project already under construction.
“We’re pleased to see the government’s vision for the future is focused on jobs and diversification, which will lead to more work for companies like ours to build the components needed for energy upgrading projects. This growth means we can put even more skilled tradespeople to work in the Calgary region and contribute even more to the oil and gas sector.”
If finalized by Inter Pipeline, the private investment would be unlocked by provincial support of up to $70 million in future royalty credits under the Petrochemicals Diversification Program, which was first developed in early 2016.
- Inter Pipeline’s acrylic acid and propylene derivatives facility would be in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, northeast of Edmonton. Construction is expected to begin in 2021.
- The facility would convert 60,000 tonnes per year of propylene and produce 80,000 tonnes per year of propylene derivatives, including acrylic acid, when operational.
- Acrylic acid is a value-added product used to make coatings, adhesives, diapers, floor polishes and paints.
- Roughly 50 skilled, local permanent jobs and 600 skilled trade construction jobs would be created.
- Inter Pipeline has already been approved to receive up to $200 million in future royalty credits from the first round of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program for the construction its $3.5-billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex.
Made-in-Alberta energy strategy
- Premier Notley’s government is investing $3 billion to support energy diversification that creates jobs and adds value to our resources here at home.
- The focus is on two key areas: partial upgrading of our bitumen and petrochemical processing that adds value to natural gas and natural gas liquids.
- Overall, this commitment is expected to attract more than $25 billion in private-sector investment to Alberta and create more than 20,000 jobs.
- Support for the Inter Pipeline facility is provided under the petrochemical portion of the Made-in-Alberta strategy.
- Two projects – owned by the Canada-Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation and Inter Pipeline Ltd. – were selected under the first round of this program, which was announced in 2016. The projects combined for $8 billion in private investment, creating more than 5,000 jobs.
- The government announced a second round of support for petrochemical upgrading in 2018.
- Nauticol’s methanol facility was previously selected under the second round of this program. The entire project is a $2-billion private investment in a plant near Grande Prairie, creating roughly 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.
- Albertans and Canadians use dozens of products every day that are based in part on petrochemicals like those from Alberta’s growing value-added industry including:
- polyester fabric couches, HD televisions, phones coffeemakers and computers
- car tires, engine hoses, gas, oil, radio components and seats
- desks, chairs, computers, carpets, cellphones and other office supplies
Partial upgrading of bitumen
- $1 billion in grants and loan guarantees to encourage companies to invest in new or expanded bitumen-upgrading facilities.
- Partial upgrading reduces the thickness of oil sands bitumen so it can flow through pipelines more easily, without having to be blended with diluent or as much diluent, a thinning agent. Benefits include:
- increased prices for our resources before shipping
- up to 30 per cent more capacity on existing pipelines
- more world refineries capable of processing our product
- cost savings on diluent for industry
- fewer emissions by removing high carbon content
Energy diversification timeline
- January 2016 – Royalty Review Advisory Panel recommended more value-add within the province, including partial upgrading
- February 2016 – Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP) introduced
- October 2016 – Energy Diversification Advisory Committee (EDAC) formed
- December 2016 – First PDP projects awarded
- December 2017 – Inter Pipeline finalized investment in petrochemical project
- February 2018 – EDAC reported back, including recommendation of partial upgrading, more PDP and additional support for petrochemical feedstock infrastructure
- March 2018 – Government launched programs through the Energy Diversification Act
- Fall 2018 – oil price differential hit crisis point. In response, government took several actions:
- Temporary limit on oil production
- Doubled support for PDP
- Began crude-by-rail negotiations
- Appointed LNG Investment Team
- Request for industry interest in building refining capacity
- January 2019 – Government announced letter of intent for first partial upgrading project awarded (Value Creation Inc.)
- February 2019 – Canada-Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation finalized investment in petrochemical project
- February 2019 – Premier announced crude-by-rail agreements
- February 2019 – Nauticol awarded first project under second round of PDP
High Level Fire Update
From the Province of Alberta
Update 1: Northwest Alberta wildfire (May 21 at 4:50 p.m.)
Wildfire efforts continue near High Level in Mackenzie County. States of local emergency remain in effect, with residents under a mandatory evacuation order.
- The Chuckegg Creek Wildfire is burning approximately five kilometres south of the Town of High Level within Mackenzie County.
- This out-of-control wildfire is almost 80,000 hectares.
- Alberta Wildfire, Alberta Emergency Management Agency and local authorities are cooperating in the response.
- Alberta Wildfire has about 90 firefighters and staff on the ground, supported by 25 helicopters, air tankers, 10 structural protection units and heavy machinery.
- Hot and dry conditions in northern Alberta are forecast to continue for the foreseeable future, with the fire danger expected to increase.
- Evacuation orders are in place for the Town of High Level and parts of Mackenzie County south of High Level.
- Dene Tha’ First Nation declared an evacuation order for Bushe River and Meander River. Chateh is under an evacuation alert, with high-risk individuals being evacuated.
- Approximately 5,000 people have been evacuated.
- Registration centres are open at:
- Slave Lake Legacy Centre (400 6 Avenue)
- Hotels in Slave Lake are currently at capacity.
- High Prairie Sports Palace (5409 49 Street)
- Grande Prairie Regional College (10726 106 Avenue)
- Peace River Misery Mountain Ski Hill (10408 89 Street)
- La Crete Heritage Centre (25411 TWP RD 1060, south of La Crete)
- Slave Lake Legacy Centre (400 6 Avenue)
- Residents are asked to please check in with a registration centre, even if they are staying with family or friends, or finding alternate accommodations. You should also register with Red Cross online or by phone at 1-800-863-6582 to get help with urgent needs.
- Highway 35 remains closed between five kilometres and 30 kilometres south of High Level. Highway 697 La Crete Ferry is identified as a detour. La Crete Ferry is operational with wait times of approximately one hour.
- Highway 58 from High Level to approximately 90 kilometres from the junction with Range Road 45A remains closed.
- High Level Court is closed. All scheduled Fort Vermilion matters will be heard in Peace River. Call 780-624-6256 if you’re unable to appear to register your name and phone number. Matters will be held by phone if necessary.
- Alberta Health Services has issued a special air quality statement.
Detailed information is available on emergency.alberta.ca, which is updated frequently.
Big weekend for Red Deer’s Parker Thompson
Four Races and Four Podiums for Thompson in Busy Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend
CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK – TORONTO, ONTARIO
from Parker Thompson Racing:
Parker Thompson boldly kicked off the new race season in Canada this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The 21-year-old competed in four races as part of two different series that joined the annual Victoria Day Speedfest weekend at the Toronto area racetrack. In those four races, Thompson earned four podiums. In the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC), he dominated the weekend, taking the Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Speedstar Motorsport to two overall victories. In the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, Thompson earned a 2nd and 3rd place finish in two tightly contested races.
The performance puts an exclamation mark on what has been a commanding start to Thompson’s 2019 season. Thompson has been racing south of the border since March when the Indy Pro 2000 season commenced in St. Petersburg, Florida. He joined Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA shortly after. Thompson is in contention for championship titles in those two series. After this weekend, he is set up to challenge for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and CTCC championship titles as well. In this calendar year, Thompson has already raced 12 times within the four series. In those races, he has 10 podiums and 5 wins.Racing two series in one weekend presented a unique opportunity for Thompson.
“I’m so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with two great teams in SCB Racing and Speedstar Motorsport. Sports GT racing is still very new to me. With some great people behind me though, we’ve managed some great results. We have a great chance to contend for two championships here in Canada. Speedstar Motorsport has proven great results in international series as well. I’m excited about future possibilities that exist with that team and their partners.” – Parker Thompson
Canadian Touring Car Championship
Driven by Thompson, the #1 Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Speedstar Motorsport and New Roads Automotive Group, dominated both CTCC races on the weekend. With future endeavors in other series on the horizon, Thompson and the team had a watchful eye on the SRO GT4 America’s races that also took place as part of the Victoria Day Speedfest weekend. Running cars identically classed to Thompson’s Audi R8, the GT4 America’s series features drivers from around the globe and participation from a variety of manufacturers.
In the Speedstar Motorsport / New Roads Automotive Group Audi R8, Thompson marked a lap time that bested not only all CTCC competitors, but all GT4 America’s entrants as well. In fact, the 1:23.332 that Thompson posted is faster than any GT4 lap on recent record at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
“We’re racing guys over in the SRO GT4 America’s paddock. We’re comparing and making sure we’re faster than all the manufacturers over there. The Speedstar Motorsport / New Road Automotive Group #1 Audi R8 was on rails all weekend long. It’s amazing to drive for this team. Thank you to everyone who came out from New Roads Automotive Group and Audi Uptown.” – Parker Thompson.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada
As expected of the popular one-make series, the opening races of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada were tightly contested. An incident in Saturday morning’s qualifying cut the session short, leaving multiple drivers unhappy with their starting positions for race one. Thompson would start in second position. Over the course of the race he applied good pressure on leader, Jeff Kingsley, but was not able to execute a pass. The two crossed the finish line with a comfortable margin over 3rd place Marco Cirone.
The starting line-up for race two put Thompson in the fifth position. Intense battles with Marco Cirone, Jeff Kingsley, and Patrick Dussault saw Thompson make his way up to second position. Heavy rain would fall, ending the race before he had any chance to challenge for the lead. The excitement of Thompson’s dramatic performance was tempered somewhat post-race when he was penalized one position for making a pass outside of track limits. The final result was third place.
After combining point totals for both races, Thompson holds second place in the overall championship standings, just one point behind race 2 winner Roman DeAngelis. The two drivers are also first in second in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA standings. Having shared the track for six races so far this year, Thompson and DeAngelis are demonstrating the tight competition that the GT3 Cup series is renowned for.
MAY 24 – 26, 2019 – INDY PRO 2000 Race 4 & 5 – Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis, IN
JUN. 02 – 03, 2019 – CTCC Race 3 & 4 – Calabogie Motorsport Park – Ottawa,
JUN. 08 – 09, 2019 – GT3 CUP CANADA & USA – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – Montreal
About Parker Thompson
Red Deer, Alberta native Parker Thompson is regarded as one of Canada’s premiere racing drivers. He started racing karts at age 8 and his natural talent and competitive drive quickly elevated him to international level competitions. By age 13 he was ranked 3rd in the world in Rotax Max karts. Now 21 years old, Parker continues his successful career racing on the Road to Indy, and in multiple sports car series.
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