February 2012

Message from the 2012 Board Chair


As we embark on a new year, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the members of NCIA for electing me as the new Chair for NCIA’s Board of Directors. It is truly an honour. I have had the privilege to serve as your Vice-Chair, and through that position gained valuable experience and understanding regarding the important work of NCIA and the collaborative working relationships it has with industry and the local community.

As Managing Director and COO of NCIA member company, Umicore Canada, I also appreciate the challenges that industry faces and the intricate balance that must be achieved between sustainable growth and industrial development and respect for the environment and local community. Umicore Canada has been operating in the Fort Saskatchewan area since 1996, and we have come to know our industry neighbours and the local community well.  At Umicore, we value the constructive and cooperative relationships that we have been able to build with these partners, and I want to carry that into my role as NCIA Board Chair.


My NCIA priorities for 2012 are:


Over the past 30 years, NCIA has reached many milestones in support of sustainable growth while helping to reduce the environmental impacts associated with industrial development. I am eager to contribute to that legacy through continuing the important work of NCIA with all of you. I look forward to working in a spirit of partnership with all of our member companies, key stakeholders such as Alberta Environment and Water and community residents to realize even further gains and achieve even greater success into the coming year and beyond.


Bruce Sutherland

NCIA Board Chair


Message from the Executive Director


Welcome to our first issue of 2012!

Our year started out a busy one for NCIA progressing specific initiatives:

Capital Region Air Quality Management Framework

This multi-stakeholder process has moved much closer to the finish line.  A lot of effort was made to prepare a nearly final draft of the Framework for presentation to an Air Forum meeting on January 25, 2012.  Feedback from that forum will be used now to finalize the document by the end of March 2012.

Base Level Industrial Emission Requirements (BLIERS) with Environment Canada

There are many BLIERS that NCIA members sit on and while many of them are reaching consensus, there are a few where there remain significant challenges to reach consensus.  It is these few that our members and the government will bring some focus to over the next few weeks.

Regional Noise Management Plan with Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC)

This plan has moved forward and we anticipate completion of the Regional Noise Model piece this month.  With that completion, NCIA will be working with the ERCB and the AUC to finalize the regional plan and move it forward.

In closing, if the start of 2012 is any indication of the year ahead, we are certainly ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We look forward to a busy year of progress on the files mentioned above, as well as many others, that NCIA is involved with.




Alberta’s Industrial Heartland explores oil and gas development from global perspective


The 13th Annual Stakeholder Update and Luncheon hosted by Alberta’s Industrial Heartland on January 19 drew more than 350 leaders, decision-makers and stakeholders from industry, the community as well as all three levels of government. This year, the focus of discussion centered on the current and future outlook of oil and gas development in the region from a global perspective, and how intercontinental economic shifts and burgeoning international markets will potentially impact not just the region and province but also the country as a whole.

“In order to stay competitive on an international scale, it is imperative that the work we undertake now, and pursue into the future, must take into account a global understanding and appreciation so that we can continue to explore and cultivate new markets and attract industry partners to this region,” stated Linda Osinchuk, Chair of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association and Mayor of Strathcona County.

AIHA Board (front row) with Luncheon Presenters

Pictured above: AIHA Board (front row) with Luncheon Presenters

The province’s robust industrial activity and steady economic pace plays an important role in helping to shield Alberta from negative economic shifts abroad while also continuing to attract industrial businesses to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. Robert Johnston, PhD, Director of Energy and Natural Resources, Eurasia Group, talked about the future outlook for 2012 with geopolitics continuing to be a key driver of oil markets while reinforcing the value of the Alberta brand as a politically stable jurisdiction for investment. “Asian markets, such as China, will serve as a magnet for Canadian energy exports but we will need both the political will and policy intervention to realize those opportunities,” Johnston observed. “It will also be prudent for oil sands developers in Alberta to look beyond the US market for competitive dynamics as the activities of countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela will impact the oil prices realized by Alberta producers.” 

“Both the region and province’s dedication and focus for increasing competitiveness, particularly on an international scale, will help Alberta’s Industrial Heartland withstand global economic disruptions while helping to secure a stronger foothold as one of North America’s key petrochemical and processing leaders,” commented Jason Brisbois, Director and Chief Economist for the Western Centre for Economic Research at the University of Alberta. Honourable Jeff Johnson, Minister of Infrastructure from the Government of Alberta and Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform) from the Government of Canada were also in attendance.

To download presentations from this event, please visit the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association.


Keyera donates $150,000 to hospital CT scanner


Fort Saskatchewan’s drive for a CT Scanner took another $150,000 step forward thanks to a donation from Keyera Corp. earlier this month.

“It really means a lot to the employees to be able to contribute to the community and to be able to give something back,” said Jim Hunter, Keyera vice-president of Natural Gas Liquids. Hunter said the donation was driven by the local employees of the Calgary-based company who wanted to become part of the drive to bring the diagnostic device to the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital.

“We’ve been building our company and have been working to become part of community,” he said. “The facility employees felt it was time for us to show our face in the community a little more.”

Margaret Wade, the hospital foundation’s chairperson, said the two groups had been working together on making the donation possible after Keyera’s employees approached the foundation in late 2009. “We’ve worked very hard on getting things in place to get to the point where we can make this announcement,” she said. “This brings us ever closer to having a state of the art diagnostic device in our hospital.”

In recognition of the donation, the hospital’s obstetrics wing will be named the Keyera Labour and Delivery Suites. The donation brings the foundation’s drive to fund the purchase of the CT Scanner to within $300,000 of its $2 million goal to pay for the device.

Jarrod Beztilny, Keyera’s director of operations for the company’s Fort Saskatchewan and Edmonton facilities, said the 18-month effort to get all the ducks in a row was well worth the work. “We’re all happy to see it all come together,” he said. “Health care is a big concern for all our employees and we felt, as we were growing our presence here, we should be giving back to the community. “It feels awesome to be involved this way.”

Heather Ward, site director of the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital, said the donation is much more than just helping to provide a medical device to the hospital. “This hospital is about engaging the community and creating a healthy, caring and vibrant community,” she said. “I’m thrilled to have a foundation like this at our hospital that can reach out to the community and I’m grateful that a company like Keyera has responded in the manner that they have.”


Expected Turnarounds for 2012


A Turnaround is a planned, periodic shut down of a production facility or plant to perform maintenance jobs to maintain safe and efficient operations.  A topic that is very relevant to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.

This year the Industrial Heartland is preparing for what is cited to be one of the biggest for all industry in Alberta for 2012.

Dow Chemical is planning for a major maintenance and capital investment Turnaround to take place from mid April to early June 2012. This is the largest Turnaround ever undertaken at the Dow Fort Saskatchewan site.  At the height of the activities close to 1500 contractors will be working in support of the Turnaround activities.

“We recognize the impact this size of turnaround could have on the local community and we are working diligently with our planners to minimize this impact,” said Joe Deutscher, Site Director of Dow’s Alberta Operations.

This is a substantial investment by Dow in their Fort Saskatchewan facilities and it will have a positive economic contribution to the local community.  The financial gain for the local business community is estimated to be over $3 million with increased spending in the food, hospitality and services area. Dow is working closely with the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce to maximize opportunities including the development of a Welcome Package for the Turnaround contractors.

“The safety of people and the environment is Dow’s number one priority during all activities and decisions related to the 2012 Turnaround and Dow’s daily operations,” said Deutscher. “All of Dow’s operations are guided by the principles of Responsible Care which emphasize the continuous improvement of environment, health and safety performance.”

In addition to Dow’s spring Turnaround, there are other smaller Turnarounds planned this year, including Shell.

Turnarounds of varying size and scope have become an annual activity at Shell Scotford, as the site northeast of Fort Saskatchewan has grown significantly over the past decade. With a recently expanded upgrader, a refinery and chemicals plant there are teams of turnaround planners who work year-round carefully planning and scheduling the maintenance work, right down to the smallest detail. Even after a turnaround is successfully executed the teams pause only momentarily before they start to plan the next event.

To learn more about Dow Canada’s Fort Saskatchewan Turnaround, please visit their Virtual Open House at www.dow.com/canada.


Heartland 101: World Class Carbon Capture Projects Proposed for the Heartland


Global demand for energy is expected to nearly double by the year 2050. Non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels will help to satisfy this rising demand until the world can transition over time to lower carbon alternatives and renewable energy sources. The use of fossil fuels and resulting greenhouse gas emissions has led to significant efforts world-wide to address climate change, including Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Approximately $25 billion has been invested around the world in over 200 active or planned CCS projects.

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is home to two proposed CCS projects, helping provide environmental and economic benefits on a local and global scale. Shell’s Quest Project and Enhance Energy’s Alberta Carbon Trunk Line are both designed to capture carbon dioxide emissions produced by industrial facilities. The CO2 is then compressed, and transported by underground pipelines to a carefully selected site where it is then injected underground.

Capturing and storing CO2 emissions is an essential part of a global long-term energy strategy. The two CCS projects in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland will play a significant role in our province’s contribution to addressing climate change and improving environmental sustainability.

Brought to you by Life in the Heartland, a partnership aimed at improving access to information, resources, and contacts for residents in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. For more information, visit www.lifeintheheartland.com, email info@lifeintheheartland.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LifeintheHeartland.