Status: The call for applications closed Sept. 4, 2018. Initial screening is underway.
Ministry responsible: Energy
The Partial Upgrading Program will provide up to $1 billion in grants and loan guarantees to encourage companies to build 2 to 5 bitumen upgrading facilities to:
- increase the value of our energy resources before shipping
- allow more volume to be shipped through pipelines
Partial upgrading reduces the thickness of oil sands bitumen so it can flow through pipelines more easily, without having to be blended with diluent, or as much diluent, a thinning agent. Benefits include:
- higher prices for our resources
- more access to international markets
- cost savings on diluent for industry
- less emissions by removing high carbon content
Partial upgrading is cheaper to do than full upgrading because it requires less processing. This results in lower capital costs to build the facilities. It will not limit future opportunities for full refining in Alberta.
This program is one of the 3 pillars of the Energy Diversification Act. The other two programs are:
How it works
The program will support 2 to 5 projects to develop this emerging technology in Alberta by proving up to $1 billion in financial incentives, including:
- up to $200 million in grants
- up to $800 million in loan guarantees
How to apply
The call for applications is now closed and initial screening is underway. The deadline was September 4, 2018.
Review the application guidelines for information on eligible projects, financial incentives and application requirements.
- Partial Upgrading Application Guidelines (PDF, 967 KB)
- Partial Upgrading Program Clarifications (PDF, 126 KB)
- Fact sheet: Partial Upgrading Program (PDF, 139 KB)
After you apply
Applications will be reviewed with a third-party monitor to ensure a fair and transparent evaluation process.
Applications that pass the initial screening criteria will be evaluated against a set of 8 major criteria. Applications will be ranked by performance.
The top ranked projects may then be engaged in negotiations to be considered for approval under the program.
The approved projects may be announced in late 2018.
- Building on Alberta's energy strengths (Mar. 12, 2018)
- Investing in a diversified energy future (Mar. 8, 2018)
- Securing Alberta's future through energy diversification (Feb. 26, 2018)