Inter Pipeline will go ahead with a C$3.5bn ($2.72bn) integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) plant in Canada for the conversion of locally sourced, low-cost propane into value-added plastics products.

Named as the Heartland Petrochemical Complex, the integrated plant will come up in Industrial Heartland, near Fort Saskatchewan in Strathcona County in Alberta province. It will be built by the Canada-based pipeline transportation company near its Redwater Olefinic Fractionator.

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex will be designed to have a production capacity of up to 525,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene, which, in turn will be utilized in the manufacturing of a broad range of finished products.

Construction of the PDH and PP facilities, among others, will begin next year and will be completed late 2021.

The PDH facility will be able to convert around 22,000 barrels per day of propane supplied by Redwater Olefinic Fractionator and third party fractionators into 525,000 tonnes per year of polymer grade propylene.

On the other hand, the integrated PP plant will use the propylene from the PDH plant to generate 525,000 tonnes of polypropylene per year.

Inter Pipeline president and CEO Christian Bayle said: “Alberta is an ideal location to construct a world-scale propane based petrochemical operation.

“Driven by attractive feedstock and utility costs, the Heartland Complex is expected to be one of the lowest cost polypropylene producers in North America.

“This dynamic should result in attractive profit margins given the premium pricing this plastic currently receives in the North American market.”

As part of the project, the product storage facilities and rail loading assets to enable the transport of polypropylene pellets to different North American markets will also be constructed.

A total of 2,300 direct full-time jobs related to construction will be created for the project and once complete, the facilities will have 180 full time roles.

Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said: “We're excited to see this new investment that will create thousands of good-paying, value-added jobs and help diversify Alberta's economy.

“Moving ahead with this world-class facility shows our Petrochemicals Diversification Program is working to attract new investment and make life better for Albertans by creating new economic opportunities.”

Image: Illustration of the future Heartland Complex. Photo: courtesy Inter Pipeline.