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Alberta lands $2.5B petrochemical project

Russell Hixson
Alberta lands $2.5B petrochemical project
GREENVIEW INDUSTRIAL GATEWAY — An aerial photo shows off part of the Greenview Industrial Gateway in Alberta's Grand Prairie region.

Northern Petrochemical Corporation has unveiled plans to construct a $2.5 billion carbon-neutral ammonia and methanol production facility in Alberta’s Grand Prairie region.

The facility would be built in the Greenview Industrial Gateway and is projected to potentially create 4,000 jobs during the construction phase and 400 permanent jobs once it is up and running.

Geoff Bury, president and CEO of Northern Petrochemical Corporation, the project’s developer, provided details on the project at a press conference.

“I’m really happy to be here today because I have spent most of my professional life living in Calgary but working internationally,” said Bury. “This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to develop a project here at home in Alberta.”

Bury explained the project is designed to produce products that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world. The facility will be able to produce around 200 million tonnes per year of blue methanol and blue hydrogen that will be converted to ammonia and shipped internationally. Construction is expected to start in spring 2023 and be completed in fall 2026.

“When we were looking around the world for a location, we landed on Alberta not just because I was born and raised here. It’s also because of the Alberta government’s support for the petrochemical industry and making the petrochemical industry of Alberta a priority.”

Bury specifically cited the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program, which was introduced in 2020 to encourage investments in petrochemical facilities and help diversify Alberta’s natural gas sector. The Alberta Industrial Heartland Association estimates there is an opportunity to grow the sector by more than $30 billion by 2030.

“It makes Alberta competitive on the world stage,” said Bury. “Now, Alberta is a big place and we could have put this plant anywhere. But we chose Greenview Industrial Gateway because it, quite frankly, has all the necessary key factors to make a project success.”

Bury said this included available land, abundant feed stock, water, power, the ability to store carbon and access to rail. He praised the Greenview Industrial Gateway as a model for future industrial development.

The team will work with KBR and Johnson Matthey to license and do basic engineering design for the ammonia-methanol co-production technology the two companies have developed.

“They have a technology that has the ability to lower the costs and reduce emissions,” said Bury. “Combine that with carbon capture and storage and we believe that this project will be a key part of Alberta’s transition to a clean energy future.”

Premier Jason Kenney congratulated the leaders of the region for strategically developing the Greenview Industrial Gateway to capture investment.

“This is more evidence that Alberta’s economic recovery is for real and is big,” said Kenney. “This brings home momentum to attracting job-creating investment that diversifies our economy and also reduces emissions.”

Kenney used the press conference to also take shots at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference, calling out international leaders for having a “global talk fest” while Alberta is “getting the job done” by cutting emissions with large projects.

“That is real leadership,” said Kenney. “And not trying to shut down the modern industrial economy or punishing people for living normal lives in a cold climate. But rather investing in technology that bends the curve down.”

 

Follow the author on Twitter @RussellReports.

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