Energy Processing in Alberta

Energy processing increases the value of raw resources. Upgrading bitumen (oil sands) to Synthetic Crude Oil (SCO) increases its market value. SCO can then be refined into gasoline, diesel and petrochemical products.

Petrochemicals Diversification Program (February 1, 2016)

Processed and refined energy products have additional benefits;

  • diversifying the economy
  • locating high-paying jobs in Alberta
  • expanding Alberta's skilled workforce
  • expanding revenue through property, corporate and personal income taxes
  • offering more products for new and expanded markets
  • securing upgrading and refining in Alberta allows for programs like the Incremental Ethane Extraction Program (IEEP) which reduces green house gas emissions by extracting ethane from the off-gases that result from the processes.

The IEEP is by petrochemical companies to apply for and earn credits for consumption of incremental ethane in the manufacturing of value-added products in Alberta.There will be no additional IEEP open seasons, as the program is now fully subscribed.

 Related resources;

  • Energy Processing MapPDF icon (progress of hydrocarbons through the value chain)
  • Hydrocarbon value chainPDF icon (illustrating the fit of upgrading, refining and petrochemical processing in the chain)
  • Petrochemical Fact sheetPDF icon
  • Upgrading and Refining Fact Sheetexternal link icon
  • Refining and Petrochemicals
  • Refining, petrochemicals and biochemicalexternal link icon (Alberta Canada)
  • Examining the expansion of the petrochemical industry in CanadaPDF icon external link icon (2015) Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) report. 
  • The Hydrocarbon Upgrading Task Force (HUTF) and related reports 2004- 2009
    The industry/government Task Force was established to explore synergies of other competitive opportunities with the refining and petrochemical industries.
  • Alberta Polypropylene Market StudyPDF icon (2004) Williams Energy, Alberta Industrial Heartland Association and the Government of Alberta to study the economic feasibility of producing polypropylene in Alberta.  This study identifies probable markets for Alberta-produced polypropylene and market suppliers that would compete with the Alberta-produced polypropylene.
  • Alberta Polystyrene Production OptionsPDF icon (2000) the government of Alberta commissioned Harry Blair Consultants to examine the economic potential of producing polystyrene (PS) in Alberta. An economic model was developed to evaluate the profitability of constructing and operating a crystal/impact PS plant in Alberta, using local styrene monomer as feedstock, and shipping the product locally or exporting to North America and Asia, results were positive.
  • Alberta Propylene Upgrade ProspectsPDF icon (2000) the government of Alberta commissioned T. J. McCann and Associates to identify propylene derivatives as prospects for investment in Alberta. The report discusses a number of  derivatives that could be produced in Alberta, but three, polypropylene, acrylonitrile and acrylic acid stood out as having superior potential.
  • Final Report of the Ethane and NGLs Task Force (1999) this report was submitted to Honourable Minister Steve West, by MLAs Rob Lougheed and Victor Doerksen on results of the Task Force review of Alberta's ethane and natural gas liquids (NGLs) policy framework.