SASKATOON – The commencement of a new oil plant Tuesday northwest of North Battleford is proof that Saskatchewan is still a competitive market for energy companies despite current commodity prices, according to the province’s premier.
Husky Energy’s Edam East heavy oil thermal project has commenced steam operations at its plant that’s capable of producing 10,000 barrels per day. The plant is expected to start producing oil in the spring.
“With oil where it is in terms of price, to have an oil-related announcement, a new project, new jobs being created, that’s very significant,” said Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who participated in the plant’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
Edam East will employ 30 full-time workers, according to officials of the Calgary-based energy company. Two more plants in the area are also expected to begin production in the coming months.
“This is very significant for the province’s economy,” said Wall.
The new thermal plants are financially efficient, with low operating costs, according to Husky CEO Asim Ghosh. He said this allows the project to be profitable, even when oil prices are low.
“By the end of this year, about 40 percent of our volume will come from projects such as these which on an ongoing basis will require very little capital to keep the production flat,” said Asim.
A “conducive political environment” when it comes to the energy sector is helpful when investing in a province, according to Asim. Since 2010, Husky has invested roughly $8 billion in Saskatchewan, according to government officials.
“We want to say to Husky, we’re grateful for that, we’re grateful for the investment in the province,” said Wall.