Premier Rachel Notley sees the approval of the two pipelines have also opened the door to the possibility of more refining. Her comments come amid protests in BC about the fear of environmental damage, if the Trans Mountain pipeline ever leaks, or if there’s a spill along the coastal waters from heavier tanker traffic.
Notley told reporters in Ottawa Tuesday that the economics of product movement will change. “We’ve got a pipeline that now moves to new markets. The economics for increasing the capacity for upgrading in Alberta or other parts along the way, the arguments are better now.”
Coun. Ed Gibbons, in his role as board chair for the Industrial Heartland is ready to tell the rest of that story.
“Believe me, that’s what the province wants. I’ve been working with them, all along on doing value added. Right now we’ve got $14 billion worth of growth happening in the Heartland. I’m in front a Senate committee and an MP committee in the next couple of days in Ottawa, talking about value added in a new environment.”
“We’re the largest hydro-carbon area in all of Canada, and we are here to do value added,” he said. “We need to do processing here.”
Gibbons says there’s $14-billion worth of activity going on, and the North-West up-grader in Sturgeon County will be complete late next spring. “We can build. That’s the first refinery built in Canada in the last 35 years. It’ll be finished. The completion on it will be some time in the spring or summer, and open for refining hopefully by next September.”
“Right now with the Redwater refinery, when it opens up, it’ll take bitumen into diesel. They want to build a second phase. Right now we need that amount of diesel from phase one. The second one, we’ll probably need half of that plant to just quench our own demand for diesel. The rest can be shipped out to other provinces that are shy of diesel.”
Gibbons said Northern Gateway could have been viable too, if the decision makers weren’t boxed in by limited options. It’s something he hopes to tell the MPs.
“The problem with Gateway there were three different routes going out in that area. The way the process is, they forced them to doing one instead of looking at all three. Elected people in Ottawa, the MPs really didn’t get the full spectrum of what could have happened.”
He said other projects, including the Keyera fractionation and storage facility in Fort Saskatchewan, and both of Shell’s facilities are still on schedule as well.