A report by the Conference Board of Canada, Is There Value In Adding Value: An Assessement of the Sturgeon Refinery, released on December 5, evaluates the business case of the first phase of the Sturgeon Refinery in northeastern Alberta, designed to process 78,630 barrels per day of dilbit. The Conference Board uses macroeconomic modelling to conclude that there will be long-term positive effects of the construction and operation of the refinery, in increased GDP, government revenues, and employment opportunities. For the construction phase alone, the report estimates 75,884 person-years of total employment impacts; the operation phase is estimated to contribute 6,658 full-time jobs for the life of the refinery. An Alberta Federation of Labour press release quotes president Gil McGowan: “This report confirms what we’ve been saying for years — that adding value to our resources through upgrading and refining makes sense for the province and for the country” . The AFL had commissioned a report in 2014, In-Province Upgrading Economics of a Greenfield Oil Sands Refinery , which examined the potential economics of in-province upgrading of oil sands produced within Alberta.
Contrary to the economic projections put forth by TransCanada Pipeline, a new report released on March 18 contends that the proposed Energy East pipeline will be used primarily as a means to export crude oil, rather than to refine it in Canada.
The Energy East project would convert 3,000 kilometres of existing natural gas pipeline in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario to carry crude oil, and also would build over 1,500 km of new pipelines through Quebec and New Brunswick, with the objective of carrying 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day. In September 2013, an industry-sponsored report by Deloitte & Touche consultants projected job creation in the order of 10,000 jobs in development and construction, and 1,000 ongoing jobs in the operational phase.
TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline: For Export, Not Domestic Gain argues that the crude delivered by Energy East would exceed the processing capacity of existing Canadian refineries, given that they also source crude from the U.S., the Newfoundland offshore, and in the future, the newly-approved Line 9 pipeline project. The authors argue that new refineries are unlikely to be built in Canada, and point to TransCanada’s proposed plans for export terminals at Gros Cacouna, Québec (east of Québec City) and Saint John, New Brunswick to prove that the intended purpose of the oil is export.
TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline: For Export, Not Domestic Gain, prepared jointly by the Council of Canadians, Ecology Action Centre, Environmental Defence and Equiterre, is available at: http://www.canadians.org/publications/transcanada%E2%80%99s-energy-east-export-pipeline-not-domestic-gain
Energy East: The Economic Benefits of TransCanada’s Canadian Mainline Conversion Project (Sept. 2013) is on the Deloitte website at: http://www.energyeastpipeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Energy-East-Deloitte-Economic-Benefits-Report.pdf