Industry, employer and labour association leaders have joined forces to create a new organization called the Resource Diversification Council (RDC) of Alberta. The RDC is focused on realizing the full potential of Alberta's abundant natural resources by expanding and diversifying Alberta's resource manufacturing industries.
"Our diverse council members have come together because they share in a common purpose: Building the value-added resource sector to provide stable jobs and a place for Alberta's future workforce to grow and prosper," said Naushad Jamani, chair of RDC and senior vice-president of olefins and feedstock at NOVA Chemicals.
"By further diversifying our energy industry, capturing greater value for our resources and securing a larger share of world markets, we have an opportunity to help Alberta get off the roller coaster of commodity prices, and set the stage to be a major player in refined products that can be shipped all over the world."
As Alberta faces significant challenges with oil and natural gas prices and access to world markets, the RDC said it will seek to work with government and other stakeholders in advancing energy diversification and further development of the petrochemical and hydrocarbon processing industries to the benefit of Alberta's economy for current and future generations.
Alberta is Canada's largest petrochemical-producing region and home to a $14-billion chemical industry, serving as Alberta's top manufacturing industry employing 8,000 people directly, and tens of thousands more through indirect and induced benefits. RDC's goal is to add further value to Alberta's abundant feedstocks, and will be working with the government and other stakeholders to establish a target to increase today's level of petrochemical processing and the level of hydrocarbon refining by 2030.
"In the coming months, the council will build on the discussion about diversification; encouraging the next generation of policy and program development to increase the processing of our energy resources right here in Alberta," said Jamani.
Alberta is and will always be an energy province, but there is more that can be done with the energy resources to add value, create jobs and make the economy more resilient, said Marg McCuaig- Boyd, Minister of Energy.
“It's terrific to see business, labour and industry organizations coming together to help further energy diversification in Alberta. The Resource Diversification Council is a welcome and important addition to our province. Working together, we will create jobs, economic growth and a stronger Alberta,”