Welcome from the Chair

On behalf of the Petrochem Canada Executive Committee, I’d like to welcome delegates to Edmonton, Alberta and Canada. It’s fitting the inaugural Petrochem Canada 2016 conference is being held in Edmonton. Interest in the petrochemical industry in this province has increased dramatically, spurred on by the provincial government’s Petrochemical Diversification Program announced earlier this year.

Canada has always played a significant role in the global petrochemical market place. The landscape however is changing, as new sources of local feedstock are now readily available and new and expanding demand for refined products is growing. Canada is in a strong position to leverage these current industry trends to expand and diversify its role on the local and international stage. However, success will require effort and coordination across many diverse industries to ensure we can develop a strong Canadian advantage, drive down costs and create an attractive environment for investment.

With the recent volatility of the oil and gas industry, diversifying our energy sector in Canada is a necessity. The petrochemical industry in North America is experiencing a resurgence. The advent of shale gas development has led to a wave of natural gas liquids extraction that has benefitted petrochemical producers across the continent. The US Gulf Coast is developing a number of petrochemical expansion projects. Location initiatives and co-location with derivative plants make this area attractive for investment. This region is likely the strongest competition for Canadian petrochemical supply chain.

The key to success in this new business environment is understanding the global outlook and the demands of these new and emerging markets. It also requires positioning the Canadian petrochemical industry to be competitive on the world stage. Incenting the right kind of investment with the right kind of programs and policies is critical to see successful growth and diversification in this country as well as ensuring the long term viability of these new projects.

The Petrochem Canada 2016 conference will explore the industry from a business focus.

  • What is the current global outlook? Where are the opportunities for growth?
  • How do we attract investment to our producing regions?
  • How can we work together as Canadians across the upstream, mid-stream and downstream energy sectors to streamline processes and maximize our potential?\
  • How do we work together across all associated industries such as transportation and construction to ensure efficiencies along the entire value chain, from designing facilities to feedstock production to finished consumer products?

So, how do we best compete? The challenges are daunting indeed. Geography, location, political and social stability, feedstock availability, construction costs and the availability of skilled labour are all key factors when considering when and where to invest. Our task is to examine the global dynamics, understand our local attributes and promote our regional strengths.

I’m optimistic despite the challenges. By focusing on our strengths we can build a vibrant, diversified and stable petrochemical industry in this country that supports local and national, as well as international markets.

Please join us in Edmonton this November to learn how you can best promote investment and growth in the Canadian petrochemical industry, creating long term stable jobs and diversifying Canada’s energy sector. Enjoy the conference!

Ed Gibbons,
Honourary Chair, PetroChem Canada 2016
Board Chair, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association