Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province is considering six proposals for investment in partial upgrading of oil sands bitumen.
The province says the six proposals are worth close to $5 billion of new private sector investment and could create about 10,000 construction jobs with 500 more jobs during operations.
“For decades, Albertans have been talking about getting more for our oil by upgrading more here at home. We’re taking action to make that a reality. By supercharging energy upgrading in Alberta, we can create more jobs and open more markets to finally get top dollar for our resources,” said Notley in a news release.
The government said it will review the short list of proposed projects for their economic viability and how they demonstrate the best possible value for Albertans while meeting the province’s plan “to do the right thing for the environment” and discussions will begin with the companies in the coming weeks.
“Partial upgrading is an emerging technology that reduces the thickness of oil sands bitumen so it can flow through pipelines more easily, without having to be blended with diluent. This provides significant cost savings to industry, increases pipeline capacity by up to 30 per cent, and provides access to more refineries around the world,” said the province.
The government added that partial upgrading will make Alberta’s industry more competitive and enable more refineries to process Alberta’s bitumen products.
It said partial upgrading is one of the initiatives supported through the Energy Diversification Act as the provincial government is committing $1 billion in incentives for partial upgrading over eight years beginning in 2019-20.
“We’re kick-starting a new era of energy diversification in Alberta. These strong proposals show companies want to make big investments and create opportunities in our province. Our made-in-Alberta energy upgrading strategy is a win for energy producers and a win for all Albertans,” said Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Alberta’s minister of Energy.