Alberta looking to create jobs investing over $50 million in Designated Industrial Zone

Investment will help build three new water intake facilities, create jobs

Alberta looking to create jobs investing over $50 million in Designated Industrial Zone

Alberta is investing $50.5 million over the next five years in the Designated Industrial Zone (DIZ) to help build three new water intake facilities. 

This will help create jobs, grow the petrochemical sector, reduce global emissions and diversify Alberta’s economy, according to the provincial government.

“The future of clean energy, petrochemical innovation and economic growth is happening in Alberta's Industrial Heartland and the Designated Industrial Zone,” said Rebecca Schulz, minister of environment and protected areas. “Water is critical for industry and businesses, and the area needs new facilities to keep growing. This investment will help attract world-leading industrial projects to the Industrial Heartland and ensure we have the infrastructure in place to support them.”

The new funding will help municipalities in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland construct up to three new water intake facilities and related infrastructure. These will be located in the Lamont, Strathcona, and Sturgeon counties, with the Alberta government covering up to 30% of the construction and associated infrastructure costs for the new facilities.

The water intake construction sites were determined based on a 2022 study that guided infrastructure development for water supply and wastewater treatment, according to the Alberta government. 

“These new water intakes will improve the competitiveness for Alberta’s Industrial Heartland by providing open access to competitively priced water,” Mark Plamondon, executive director, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association. “This new funding will create long-lasting, environmentally responsible economic growth and diversification in AIH. Investments like this help position AIH as a global leader for industrial investment.”

The new water intakes will provide "cost-effective, fair and reasonable water access for industrial purposes" to all districts in the zone, according to the provincial government. The project is putting “a significant emphasis” on the expanded use of reclaimed water by industry to help maximize water supply and reduce the environmental impact.

Recently, Alberta invested $50 million for the second round of the Industrial Transformation Challenge, challenging industry employers to come up with innovative projects to help reduce emissions and waste in the province.

Alberta's Industrial Heartland and the Designated Industrial Zone

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing region and is home to oil and gas refineries and chemical and petrochemical facilities. The industrial zoned land extends into five municipalities, including 533 square kilometres within the City of Fort Saskatchewan and the Counties of Lamont, Strathcona and Sturgeon, in addition to 49 square kilometres in the City of Edmonton.

Launched in 2022, the DIZ in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland (AIH) streamlines regulatory approvals and supports infrastructure development. The program is helping attract major new projects, including Dow’s Path2Zero facility.

Late in 2023, the provincial government announced that Dow is investing $11.5 billion to build the world's first net-zero emissions ethylene cracker and derivatives site in Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta.

Current investment in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is valued at around $40 billion. The DIZ has the potential to attract billions of dollars in capital investment and support thousands of jobs by 2030, according to the provincial government.

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