Feb 19, 2017
In an hour long consultation with the members of the Alberta Energy Diversification Advisory Committee on  February 14, 2017, Capital Region Board CEO Malcolm Bruce stressed the importance of attracting investment in the value-added energy sector to spur diversification of the province's resource industry.
Speaking to a question on barriers to this attraction, Bruce said:

"Energy is not an island unto its own. It is a given we need pipelines to tidewaters. But we also need incentives to shore up regional cooperation and partnerships to enable investment opportunities. A noteworthy example is EIA, which, along with ourselves and others, is working to bring an International Site Selectors conference to the region, potentially in 2018.

The Interim Board for our Economic Development Entity is keen to ensure the Region is ready to take advantage of this opportunity to expose a united and clearly articulated Edmonton Metro Region to these key global agents. The benefits of hunting as a pack for global investment – especially for valued-adds of the energy sector – are undeniable. Respectfully, we recommend that incenting this collaborative behavior is the best solution to breaking down current barriers."

When asked to identify key opportunities for value-add in the energy sector, Bruce noted two:

"First, a deepening and broadening of the petrochemical footprint. Specifically the approval of the Northwest Refinery 2-6. While not energy specific, this speaks to our critical function as The Gateway to the North, supporting the Near North and Far North with manufacturing parks, education and health services, and identifying the region as more than just energy.

Secondly, Supply Chain enhancements and tapping into the extensive manufacturing will make the region more attractive to the world. Currently the EIA’s Foreign Trade Zone status and the addition of Air China Cargo are examples of moving in this critical direction."

When asked for top three recommendations, Bruce told the Committee, "Our recommendations are:
  1. Establish a process for creating Energy Corridors
  2. Get pipelines to tidewater
  3. Seek to capitalize on and grow support for the tremendous Research & Development being done by our regional businesses and post-secondary institutions"
See the slide presentation here