This release was issued under a previous government.

The Government of Alberta has cracked the energy industry’s market access issues with a new initiative to ship bitumen, oil and natural gas directly to foreign markets using Zeppelin balloons.

The New Zeppelin Project will allow Alberta’s energy products to reach international markets without the involvement of the National Energy Board, or difficult negotiations with other provinces. 

“Airship technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since the Hindenburg. Balloons are a safe and environmentally friendly means of transporting our energy products. Reputable companies around the world are eager to help us get this project off the ground and reduce our reliance on a single marketplace for our oil.”

Premier Rachel Notley

A tendering process for a fleet of 200 of the giant airships is being launched today. The request for qualifications stage stipulates that 50 per cent of the balloons be produced in Alberta. 

The Local Dirigible Manufacturing requirement is expected to kickstart a nascent aerospace industry in Alberta, furthering government’s effort to diversify the economy. 

The first shipments to refineries in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to land in foreign markets by April 1, 2017.