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Energy Minister talks royalty review, pipelines at Growing the North

Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says the province’s recently announced petrochemicals program is already seeing interest. $500 million in royalty credits are being made available to new facilities that turn methane or propane into materials used to make fertilizers, plastics and other products.

“We’ve had overwhelmingly good response to it; a lot of interest. Right now applications are online on the Department of Energy’s site. We identified 8 or 9 companies that might be interested and I think we’re going to get more than that in interest in application.”

The Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley MLA is in Grande Prairie this week and spoke at the Growing the North Conference Wednesday. She focused mostly on the royalty review and how the price of oil is affecting the industry. McCuaig-Boyd says the government is working on finding new markets now that our biggest customer in the U-S has become our biggest competitor.

“I’ve been to China; I’m going to Houston next week for an international conference hoping to promote Alberta as the place to look at investing. As far as market access, we’re working to get those pipelines built so we can keep more value in Alberta for those products.”

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She argues that even if we access markets we’re going to have trouble shipping, so her focus is largely on building pipelines. When it comes to convincing other politicians to say yes to controversial ones like Energy East, the Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley MLA admits she’s taking it “one conversation at a time”.

The Growing the North Conference continues Thursday at the Entrec Centre with another full slate of presenters.

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