The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) participated in the Ontario PC Party Blue Ribbon Panel on Pipelines, Oil, Natural Gas and Propane on April 19.
The panel gave the PC Party an opportunity to draft policies on the subject in advance of the next provincial election. It featured a closed-door session with key industry stakeholders – including representatives from refineries, natural gas distributors, propane, petroleum and gas organizations, and local union and construction associations.
“Within North America, Ontario’s industrial electricity rates are not competitive, which hurts manufacturing and makes the province less attractive for new industrial investment,” said Don Fusco, CIAC Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations-Ontario. “Industrial electricity policy must move beyond load shifting programs as the chemistry sector has limited opportunity to take advantage of them since many facilities operate on a continuous basis.”
CIAC believes PC party policy must include measures to lower industrial electricity rates and implement electricity incentives that encourage industrial investments and job creation. Electricity is essential, but it is a major cost for chemistry companies which can both enhance and disrupt competitiveness.
The chemistry industry in North American is currently experiencing significant growth due to abundant supplies of low carbon natural gas and natural gas liquids, which is leading to an economic advantage over global competitors that use coal and oil-based feedstock.
The United States has more than $300 billion in chemistry investments across more than 200 projects; Ontario – specifically Sarnia-Lambton – is currently in a good position to capitalize on this investment cycle due to its proximity to the natural gas-rich regions in the mid-west U.S.
“It is imperative to the long-term viability of our sector that Ontario manufacturers continues to enjoy stable and cost-competitive access to these key natural gas and natural gas liquids feedstocks,” Fusco said.
CIAC will continue to participate in the Blue Ribbon Panel on Pipelines, Oil, Natural Gas and Propane in the future.