WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Alberta's government is in talks with a private Saudi company to open a C$5-billion to C$10-billion ($3.8 billion-$7.6 billion) petrochemical plant in Canada's main oil and gas producing province, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Friday.
Alberta is offering incentives for developers to build more petrochemical plants to create desperately needed jobs and demand for the province's natural gas. The pandemic has hammered fuel demand, lowering crude prices and forcing energy producers to cut costs and jobs.
Associate Minister of Gas Dale Nally told the Globe that Saudi petrochemical firms are looking for new places to expand, including Alberta.
He declined to identify the company with which the province is negotiating, but his office said it is not state-owned. A spokeswoman for Nally could not immediately be reached.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney sharply criticized Saudi Arabia in spring when it and Russia accelerated oil production to depress prices, adding to his province's economic pain.
The Alberta incentive program will offer grants to companies once petrochemical plants are operating. The province said this month it wants to become a bigger petrochemical producer and a hub for recycling plastic waste.
($1 = 1.3186 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Jan Harvey) ((email@example.com; Twitter: @RodNickel_Rtrs; 1-204-230-6043;))