Blog Post

Here’s What’s Taking Place in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland


Although we’re going through some difficult economic times these days, things sound much worse than they actually are. The latest job report from Statistics Canada confirms that Calgary’s unemployment rate has risen from 6.9 per cent to 8.4 percent and they’ve lost 20,000 jobs in the process.

But things are a bit different in Edmonton. The City of Edmonton’s chief economist, John Rose, announced that Alberta’s capital gained 25,000 jobs in the last 12 months. A good part of these jobs are related to the construction industry and part of the reason why Edmonton has been safe from these downturns is because of these opportunities. According to Alberta Industrial Heartland’s website, the following projects are either currently underway or expected to take place soon:

North West Redwater Partnership

Located in Sturgeon County, this project will lead to a bitumen upgrader and diesel refinery that will produce over 150,000 barrels per day. The facility will harness 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year per phase and sell it to be used in enhanced oil recovery methods. As it stands, 3,800 people are working on site and the workforce is said to peak between 3,000-5,000 people throughout 2016. The first phase of the project, which costs $8.5 billion, should be operational in September 2017. Visit this post to learn more about a part of the Taurus team who are working on this project.

The Heartland Pipeline 

The Heartland Pipleline is a crude oil pipeline connecting Alberta’s Heartland to Hardisty, a town located 111 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border. The proposed pipeline will be 200km long and 36″ and will be able to transport up to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day. This project is expected to cost $600 million and will begin based on market conditions and customer needs. Communications with stakeholders and Aboriginal communities are in process.

Williams PDH & PP Facility

This Strathcona Country-based project centres around the propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility that will convert propane into higher value products. As the first of its kind in Canada, this facility will cost a combined total of $2.5 billion and will have an initial capacity of about 1.1 billion pounds of polymer grade propylene and 1 billion pounds of polypropylene. The PDH & PP Facility is expected to be up and running in the second half of 2018.

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Pembina’s RFS II project, set to be in-service in the end of 2015, is an expansion of the Redwater Fractionator and Storage facility. It involves twinning Pembina’s 73,000 barrel per day ethane-plus fractionator in Redwater. The company has also announced that they are moving forwards with RFSIII, a 55,000 bpd propane-plus fractionator. The combined cost of both projects will be $875M and Pembina says that RFSIII will be in service during the third quarter of 2017.

ATCO Energy Solutions’ Salt Cavern Storage

ATCO Energy Solutions Ltd. is teaming up with Petrogas Energy Corp. to develop four salt mine caverns. These caverns will be able to store about 400,000 cubic metres of butane, propane, and ethylene and will provide Western Canada’s Natural Gas Liquids market with an alternative to hydrocarbon storage. Located in at ATCO’s Heartland Energy Centre near Fort Saskatchewan, these caverns are secured under long-term agreements. With a combined cost of $200 million, two of the caverns will be available for commercial operation during the second quarter of 2016, while the other two are projected to finish by the second quarter of 2017.

Enbridge Norlite Pipeline Project

This pipeline is expected to start at Enbridge’s Stonefell site and will end at Suncor’s East Tank Farm, located on Fort McMurray. Enbridge is proposing a create and operate a 24″ diameter pipeline about 447km in length in order to transport diluent, an umbrella of light liquid hydrocarbons used to dilute heavy oil to make it lighter. A new pump project for the Stonefell site is also included in the project. Construction for this project started in 2015 and should be in working order by spring of 2017

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