Alberta’s Natural Gas Vision and Strategy is a plan for the province to become a global supplier of clean, responsibly sourced natural gas and related products, including hydrogen, petrochemicals and recycled plastics. The strategy supports the long-term growth and strength of industry to ensure it will be a global competitor across multiple sectors.
Canada is among the world’s top 5 producers of natural gas, with about two-thirds of production coming from Alberta. The industry employs tens of thousands of people and has the potential to generate billions of dollars in revenue each year. Alberta is well positioned to expand into new areas of growth in the natural gas sector.
A healthy and competitive natural gas sector is vital to the jobs and prosperity of all Albertans, and can have a major role in helping meet the growing global demand for sustainable energy. New ways to get the most value out of natural gas reserves can help diversify the energy sector and help the economy.
Invigorating natural gas
Support for the strategy includes:
- advocating for natural gas development in Canada
- pursuing investment and improving competitiveness
- setting up world-class environmental frameworks
- enabling investment and involvement across the whole natural gas value chain
The strategy focuses on growing 5 sectors of the natural gas industry:
- petrochemical manufacturing
- Alberta industrial demand
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
- the plastics circular economy
The goal is for Alberta to become a global top 10 producer of petrochemicals, expanding and diversifying the products currently manufactured within the province.
- Alberta has one of the most established petrochemical manufacturing centres in Canada and is already on its way to grow by attracting million-dollar investments from domestic and international companies through the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program.
- This approach is enabling the province to compete with jurisdictions around the world, bringing long-term investments and thousands of jobs to the province. There is an opportunity to grow this sector by more than $30 billion by 2030, resulting in more than 90,000 direct and indirect jobs over the construction and operation periods of new facilities, according to the Alberta Industrial Heartland Association. This would generate more than $10 billion in revenue for the Government of Alberta from corporate and personal income taxes.
The goal is for large-scale hydrogen production with carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and deployment in various commercial applications across the province by 2030. Also, exports of hydrogen and hydrogen-derived products to jurisdictions across Canada, North America and globally to be in place by 2030.
- Global demand for hydrogen is projected to increase at least tenfold in the coming decades.
- The hydrogen market is expected to be worth trillions by 2050.
- Alberta has several advantages including producing clean hydrogen made by upgrading natural gas. The carbon by-product generated from this process is then captured and permanently stored underground or used for another purpose.
3. Alberta industrial demand
The goal is to support growing industrial demand for natural gas and natural gas liquids within Alberta with increased investment in midstream natural gas processing infrastructure and addressing pipeline concerns to get our natural gas resources to markets.
- Alberta industry already accounts for a significant portion of natural gas use in the province, and as Alberta’s industrial sector grows, so too will demand for natural gas.
- Natural gas and natural gas liquids are fundamental inputs to electricity, oil sands and other industrial sectors, including the petrochemicals, cement and greenhouse industries.
- These sectors represent over half of the province’s domestic natural gas demand and are expected to grow.
The goal is for Alberta’s natural gas to be able to access Asian and European markets through 2 to 3 additional mega LNG projects by 2030.
- Shipping from Canada’s West Coast to markets in Asia takes half the time than from the U.S. Gulf Coast (11 to 13 days versus 20), while proposed projects in Eastern Canada would take 7 to 8 shipping days from Europe, which is less than any other North American LNG projects.
- LNG can help reduce carbon emissions in a number of countries as coal plants are replaced with cleaner natural gas.
5. Plastics circular economy
The goal is for Alberta to be the western North America centre of excellence for plastics diversion and recycling by 2030.
- A circular economy is when the full value of a plastic product is used across multiple lifecycles, not just used once and then discarded.
- According to a report by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), 86% of plastics were landfilled in 2016. This represents a $7.8 billion lost opportunity.
- Approximately 4,500 direct full-time equivalent jobs are created in the province as a result of existing recycling activities with a further 1,600 indirect and 1,400 induced jobs, for a total of 7,500 jobs, according to a Eunomia Research and Consulting study.
Alberta’s Investment and Growth Strategy supports efforts to drive investment into key industries and emerging sectors that will ultimately lead to more jobs by:
- ensuring investors know that Alberta offers the opportunity to grow
- sharing Alberta’s competitive advantages to attract investment
- diversifying key industries such as energy, agriculture and agri-foods, and tourism, as well as emerging growth sectors, advanced technology, aerospace and aviation, and financial services
- addressing longer-term steps that will create a stronger and cohesive system that will create jobs and diversify the economy
Interested investors can visit InvestAlberta.
Strategy in action
- Created the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP) to attract investment to the province’s growing petrochemical industry and have provided $600 million in funding grants.
- Created the Hydrogen Centre of Excellence which has granted more than $20 million to 18 successful projects during Competition One to advance innovations in hydrogen. Competition Two launched in fall of 2023.
- Making fast progress on the Hydrogen Roadmap, guiding the development of the growing hydrogen sector.
- Participating in the Plastics Alliance of Alberta to guide and support a plastics circular economy.
Connect with the Natural Gas Strategy and Engagement Branch:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Email: [email protected]
Alberta Energy and Minerals
Natural Gas Branch
6th Floor, North Petroleum Plaza
9945 108 Street*
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2G6
*Couriers, please report to the 2nd floor.
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