Alberta Soap Box 🇨🇦

Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Ship Rubber to China – Made in Alberta

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 I can see it now, trainloads of synthetic rubber being shipped to China instead of pipelines full of bitumen. No environmental protests , no native protests, no world condemnation sounds good to me. So why is the Alberta Government headstrong on this Gateway pipeline  to ship Bitumen while ignoring all other opportunities that Alberta oil can offer? Since why back when the Alberta government has been hailing they are going to diversify Alberta but nothing every seems to come of it. Sitting on one of the freest pieces of land in the world with a great entrepreneurial spirit , Albertans should be able to come up with other ideas on how to turn our oil into usable products like rubber to ship to China to support our economy.

About 15 billion kilograms of rubbers are produced annually, and of that amount two-thirds is synthetic at $150 per pound. Since Alberta has the oil fields, and the styrene and butadiene used in synthetic rubber can both be made from oil, it seems a natural to produce rubber and other oil related products in Alberta. Synthetic rubber can tailor its characteristics to produce very specific performance so why can’t Alberta produce speciality rubbers?

I noticed in a headline that Saudi Arabian Basic Industries, the world’s largest chemical company by revenues, is to build a $3.4bn rubber production plant in the kingdom in a joint venture with ExxonMobil.  The Saudis say the new plant fits into a wider push by the their government to diversify the economy away from oil and create jobs  and meet the growing global demand for specialty elastomers. Can Alberta’s business establishment afford $3.4 billion like the Saudis? Is Redford’s PCs even looking into this and other oil related diversification? Saudis Sabic often works alongside global companies. Earlier this year it announced a joint venture with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, known as Sinopec. Redford’s PC should be doing the same. No problem shipping rubber. It may not be that beneficial for Ontario and Quebec’s transfer payment handout if Alberta diversified but it will be good for Albertans.

Alberta  has to move on and stop pretending that there is going to be a Gateway Pipeline shipping our black gold to China. BC residents don’t what to take a chance on ruining their coast line with oil slicks. The pipelines already going through BC to the coast will most likely be the last. We need to think like the Saudi’s and move Alberta in a direction to diversify our oil products.

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