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Alberta has scrapped two government schemes aimed at drawing petrochemical investment to the province, but is keeping Phase 2 of its $1.1-billion petrochemicals diversification program.

The change means the end of the petrochemical feedstock infrastructure and partial upgrading programs implemented by the previous NDP government.

Energy Minister Sonya Savage said Wednesday they were too financially risky for Albertans, relying as they did on grants and loan guarantees.

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Round two of the diversification program was announced last year. The April election put the program on ice, with only $150-million of the $1.1-billion in available royalty credits confirmed up until this week.

Associate Minister of Natural Gas Dale Nally said the province would now move quickly to examine and approve new petrochemical diversification projects under Phase 2 of the program.

His ministry will also seek industry input on the diversification program in the coming weeks.

The program supports privately funded large-scale projects by providing royalty credits to companies that build facilities to turn ethane, methane and propane feedstocks into products such as plastics, fabrics and fertilizers.

Royalty credits, which Ms. Savage called “a beautiful mechanism to incent” industry investment, are issued once projects become operational.

“This program has demonstrated success in developing projects in a financially responsible way with private industry taking the lead,” she said.

“We will continue to ensure Albertans come first while we attract new investment.”

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