$20 billion in Heartland projects set

Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association executive director Neil Shelly. Barry Hanson/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association executive director Neil Shelly. Barry Hanson/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA) announced on Thursday, Jan. 23 that the association’s planned capital investments exceed $20 billion.

“Alberta’s growing supplies of natural resources, including oilsands and natural gas, are the keys to attracting investment from companies who will add value to our resources within provincial borders,” stated Wayne Woldanski, chairperson of AIHA.

“We are aware that Alberta is competing with other regions around the globe who also understand the major economic benefits from value-added development. We need to work closely with local stakeholders and provincial allies to ensure policies and planning make Alberta a leading contender.”

There are approximately 15 projects that will be spread out over the next three to five years.

“Those are the projects that have been announced for the area, some of (the projects) are already underway… some of them will be starting next year and some of them may not be starting for four or five years out,” said Neil Shelly, AIHA executive director.

The projects include petrochemical manufacturing, refining, carbon capture and storage, and technology advancement.

According to a press release, the projects will have many benefits, such as “diversifying the province’s economy to insulate it from energy commodity cycles, providing significant sources of non-royalty related revenues, and stimulating additional local markets for energy resources.”

“A lot of these are looking really good… we also have a lot of other interest in the area, from other new investors looking around. Potentially by next year, we may hear of even more investors coming in announcing that they’re looking at projects in the area,” Shelly said.

Dr. Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, talked about the changes that are happening in Alberta and Canada.

“The Canada you thought you knew no longer exists,” he said.

“Most people are unaware that the keystone economic and political drivers of this country are now Western Canada… Canada, with its ever-evolving economy and fluid demographic base, has become divorced from the traditions of its past and is moving in an entirely new direction. That’s a topic worth talking about.”

While the estimated $20 billion number is just a number — Shelly is optimistic about the future.

“$20 billion, we think, is a good number,” Shelly said.

“It could go down or up a little bit — some projects may fall off that list, but we may see more projects that are joining that list in the next six months to a year.”

More information about the Thursday stakeholder luncheon and Alberta’s Industrial Heartland can be found at http://www.industrialheartland.com.


Source: SherwoodParkNews.com


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