Jan 24, 2018
About 115 regional energy stakeholders gathered for the first time at EMRB's Energy Corridors Stakeholder Forum January 23 to begin a conversation toward creation of a better planning process for pipeline development in the Region, as recommended in EMRB's Energy Corridors Master Plan.

The Let's Talk Energy Corridors Forum at the Dow Centennial Centre in Fort Saskatchewan began with greetings from Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur, who chairs Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA), Carol Crowfoot, Executive Vice President of AER (Alberta Energy Regulator) and Alberta Energy ADM Doug Lammie.

This initial gathering was organized by EMRB to begin the implementation of its Energy Corridors Master Plan, which recommended a stakeholder review of the history and current status of energy corridors, and an assessment of  possibilities for collaborative planning in future for the region’s energy sector.

“Space for pipelines is now an issue in certain parts of our region such as our northeast hub and the potential for value-add business will be forever compromised without a plan to grow efficiently. It’s the process for that planning we are aiming to create through the Master Plan,” said EMRB CEO Malcolm Bruce.

“Working together to recognize the challenges of siting pipelines and talking about how to overcome the barriers to planning for energy corridors is the very big first step.”

The full day event assembled provincial representatives from Alberta Energy, Alberta Infrastructure, and Alberta Transportation as well as the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA), pipeline companies, municipalities, chambers of commerce, and other industry policy and land planning stakeholders.
 
Bruce said there was agreement to follow up this session with more focused work and consultations in the near future.  “There is an urgency to this issue that we all recognize is best faced together.”

Presentations from the day: 
Background:
  • The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is the largest petrochemical and energy transmission hub in Canada. 
  • There are more than 55,743 kms of oil and gas pipelines in Alberta, the majority of which originate or end in the Region. 
  • These energy corridors are the essential networks that maintain the economic viability of the petrochemical energy cluster in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and continued success of existing refining activities throughout the region.
  • Between 2011 and 2016 the population of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region grew by almost 14%, one of the fastest growing areas in Canada, driven mostly by the influx of skilled workers needed by the energy industry.
  • Another 1 million people are expected to make this Region their home in the next 30 years, increasing the population from 1.3 million to 2.2 million. With the anticipated growth there will be further pressures on land use: where are these people going to live? Work? Recreate? What is the plan for the efficient use of land? Maintaining a safe and healthy environment? All the while ensuring industry can continue to flourish.
  • Energy Corridors provide efficient and cost-effective access into and out of the Region from power and petroleum producing sources. As the ability to move and access power and petroleum products becomes more constrained in the Region, other potential petrochemical hubs such as Hardisty or Northeast British Columbia will become more attractive for related industrial development and economic growth.
  • In 2016 the Capital Region Board approved a Regional Energy Corridors Master Plan.  The Plan establishes a policy framework and a strategic approach to integrating land use and energy corridors.
The Energy Corridors Forum was proposed to bring together the various stakeholders involved in policy development, regulation, planning, acquisition, infrastructure development, and monitoring of energy corridors in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region to:
  1. Meet on a periodic basis to review energy corridors and serve as a communications forum.
  2. Identify and facilitate energy corridor protection options for consideration.
  3. Review best practices for energy corridor development.
  4. Maintain an up-to-date map and summary of developed, approved, planned and anticipated energy corridors with a twenty-year outlook.
  5. Invite participation from key stakeholders including, but not limited to:
  • Pipeline Operators
  • Industry Associations
  • Transmission Line Operators
  • Energy Regulators
  • Provincial/Federal Government
  • EMRB Member municipalities