09 June 2009 23:11 [Source: ICIS news]
By Nigel Davis
And the industry could double in size in a relatively short period. But the conditions have to be right to facilitate the move from a C$13.5bn ($15.1bn) output industry to one much bigger.
Companies could take advantage of new feedstock streams, principally bitumen but also those associated with oil sand processing; from coal and possibly even from coke.
But the right conditions have to be in place to encourage investment in feedstock delivery systems; in the way government treats its bitumen royalties (it is developing a royalties in-kind scheme that could supply feedstock for a refinery and petrochemicals complex) and to support a more sustainable industrial footprint.
Petrochemicals feature in
There is no doubt that the Canadian province wants to capitalise on its energy resources and push downstream but it wants to do so “wisely” - in other words, with the minimum of environmental impact - and to add value in the right way.
After 10 years of rapid growth, oil sands production is under the spotlight as never before, and is a lighting rod for environmental concern, according to some. That is an issue of concern that could yet stifle further petrochemical industry development.
The big question is how these hydrocarbon rich deposits are utilised as what some call a “sustainable” energy resource and in an environmentally responsible way. The fact that provincial politicians see adding value to the energy streams as a policy objective is good news for sector players.
The focus on environmental issues, however, puts further pressure on companies wanting to participate in future petrochemicals development to come up with robust, competitive business models.
Companies in the province could become the “most efficient upgraders of energy into chemical products”.
These are the words of president and chief executive of
($1 = C$0.89)
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