Alberta has pledged to provide $1bn in a combination of loan guarantees and grants over an eight year period beginning 2019 in the aim of increasing the region’s bitumen production and exportation market.
“We are blessed with a greater variety of natural resources than anywhere in the world, but right now we’re not getting full value for them,” said Premier Rachel Notely. “As we fight for new pipelines and a better price for our oil, we must also create the right conditions for investment and jobs in oil and gas processing and manufacturing.”
Notley announced that the money is expected to attract up to $5bn in private investment by leveraging the construction of two to five partial upgrading facilities – something that could increase pipeline capacity by as much as 30%.
“We have seen the positive impact of employing Alberta's considerable resources, innovative technology and talented people to encourage billions in new investment, ensure high-paying jobs for Albertans and create lasting growth in our communities,” said Naushad Jamani, Senior Vice-President, NOVA Chemicals.
The government expects that the investments will generate 4,000 construction jobs and 200 full time jobs across the projects, whilst a study by the University of Calgary has forecast that the impact of these investments could be worth up to $22bn in GDP growth for the region over 20 years.
“Energy diversification will ensure our economic recovery is built to last - not just for a few years, but for generations,” said Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy.