The recent announcement by the Alberta government to invest $1B in grants and loan guarantees to partially upgrade its bitumen, is great news for the Alberta energy industry. As a landlocked province with no access to tidewater for access to diverse markets, and no pipeline to transport its bitumen, Alberta is not getting full value for its products. It’s the government’s hope and expectation that this will incentivize a further $5B in private investment to build and improve the local upgrader infrastructure.
While $5B sounds like a lot of money on the surface, upgraders are an expensive undertaking, especially when you compare it to the $185B invested in the refining sectors of the US Gulf Coast over the past 10 years. Additionally, investors need to be confident that their money is being spent carefully and strategically, and it’s not being misspent on unnecessary cost overruns.
Robust operational tools for managing and controlling the costs on upcoming upgrader projects therefore, need to be in place to negate the chance of cost overruns, and maximize the productivity and efficiency of how these projects are run. These will be high-profile projects, and at 4castplus we want to make certain they’re an enormous success. Alberta’s economic future relies on its ability to ship its products; and projects like these are part of a greater strategy to ensure that its capacity to do that is guaranteed for the long run.
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