Alberta’s energy diversification should focus on converting energy into manufactured products and adding value to natural gas

On March 20, CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson, along with the Chairs of the Association’s National and Alberta Business & Economics committees – Mike Burt, Dow Chemical, and Corinne Dueck, MEGlobal – appeared before the Energy Diversification Advisory Committee in Edmonton to deliver recommendations on adding value to Alberta’s energy resources. 

CIAC agrees with the Alberta government’s long-term vision for economic diversification and believes that moving up the resource value chain with value-added resource processing is integral to achieving this goal. Specifically, CIAC believes the natural gas value chain is ripe for further investment given the abundance of liquids rich natural gas resources in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

Investment in value-added resource processing can also help smooth the boom and bust cycle of resource revenue to the province as the chemistry sector often runs countercyclical to the resource sector providing high paying jobs and needed investment when resource prices are low.

To help attract investment, CIAC is encouraged by the Alberta government's use of the Royalty system through the Petrochemicals Diversification Program. CIAC recommended that further support in the form of 100 per cent accelerated capital cost allowance at the federal and provincial levels as well as additional targeted support from all levels of government – federal, provincial, and municipal – be considered to overcome the investment advantages found in competing jurisdictions such as the U.S. Gulf Coast.

We encourage you to read CIAC’s full submission to the Energy Diversification Advisory Committee and to view the presentation given by Mr. Masterson.