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Home > Alberta's Resource Inventory > Hydrocarbons > Natural Gas > Petrochemicals

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Petrochemicals

Oil and Petrochemical RefineryDrawing on its energy resources, Alberta has developed a world-class petrochemical industry that produces thousands of industrial and commercial products, including lubricants, plastics, detergents and dyes. The province's processing base includes two world-class ethane cracking plants, owned by Alberta Gas Ethylene Company, Ltd.

Nine major chemical and fertilizer companies are located in Alberta, making the province Canada's largest petrochemical-producing area.

To date some $6 billion have been invested in Alberta's petrochemical, fertilizer and related facilities. These plants produce 1.5 million tonnes (or 60 percent) of Canada's ethylene, 1.4 million tonnes (78 percent) of its methanol and 2.6 million tonnes (68 percent) of its ammonia. In 1988, Alberta's petrochemical production was valued at $3.4 billion, making this the province's second-largest manufacturing industry.

Alberta's petrochemical industry is export oriented, and elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers under the Canada/U.S. Free Trade Agreement is expected to significantly increase sales in the American market.

Alberta Energy Information Centre. Alberta in the Global Energy Spectrum.  Edmonton: n.p., 1989.  With permission from the Alberta Research Council.

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