Canada: Alberta Asks Private Sector To Build New Refinery

Last Updated: December 19 2018
Article by Darrell R. Peterson and Kieran F. Ryan
Most Popular Article in Canada, January 2019

Expressions of Interest (EOI) accepted until February 8, 2019

On December 11, 2018, the Alberta government issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) to determine private sector interest in building or expanding a refinery in Alberta to use more Alberta heavy oil. The invitation to submit an EOI extends to local, national or international energy sector companies and the government intends to give priority to projects that will maximize the value of Alberta's resources, as well as provide broader economy-wide benefits. Submissions must be received by February 8, 2019, and must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for review:

  • the refinery must be located within Alberta or tied to an Alberta facility or facilities
  • the facility, or expansion, must use exclusively Alberta produced bitumen or partially upgraded bitumen feedstock to produce marketable refined products
  • the proposal must be for a new greenfield investment or an expansion project in an existing (brownfield) site
  • the project has not already achieved a final investment decision to proceed

Submissions that meet the minimum requirements will be reviewed based on the following nine criteria:

  1. Business plan
  2. Project timing
  3. Technology and project configuration
  4. Feedstock and refined products infrastucture
  5. Proponent's capability
  6. The project's economic and financial viability
  7. Economic benefits to Alberta
  8. Environmental performance
  9. Participation of Indigenous communities

The EOI must also contain the value of Government of Alberta support being requested and describe the form and manner of risk, costs and benefits sharing between the project partners and the government.

Alberta's Premier Rachel Notley stressed that a new refinery must provide a return on investment for Albertans and diversify the way the province uses its energy resources. Premier Notley went on to say "We need to see jobs for Albertans, we need to see the participation of Indigenous communities and we need to see sound engineering, design and financial plans."

Once the submissions close in February, the government will use the results to inform its next steps, which may include issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a refinery or refinery and affiliated infrastructure project.

It is important that companies interested in submitting an EOI consider the following in their application:

Feedstock Supply and Product Marketing

  • the sources, quantities and infrastructure (current or incremental) used to transport bitumen feedstock to the facility
  • products made, target markets and infrastructure (current or incremental) used to transport products to desirable markets
  • the availability of long-term feedstock supply agreements
  • use price adjustment mechanisms in appropriate cases

Regulatory and Environmental

  • discuss all aspects of the expected environmental performance of the project
  • demonstrate the use of best available technical and economically achievable standards and outline any initiatives that will make the project an environmental leader
  • identify by type the amount of expected greenhouse gas emissions
  • regulatory context for complex, large-scale infrastructure projects including environmental law, land use planning, including consultation and other land issues, and various federal and provincial regulatory licences and compliance matters

Indigenous Communities

  • provide an overall description of how the proposed project will connect Indigenous communities to the Alberta economy
  • the business plan should identify opportunities for investments in infrastructure and services by and in Indigenous communities


  • summarize the proposed financing arrangements for the project, indicate the current status of all such arrangements and the proponent's expectations regarding probability and amount of funding
  • innovative, creative and commercially-sound solutions that complement traditional financing structures and methods, including project and structured finance techniques and cross-border corporate and project loan facilities should be considered

Capital Projects

  • identify the various commercial agreements which will be necessary in advancing the project, including any joint venture agreements, power purchase agreements and benefits sharing agreements as well as other forms of participation agreements, together with any agreements respecting the acquisition of necessary land and associated rights
  • review competitive sourcing and procurement processes, including RFP, value for money analysis, hedging and other currency issues, contracting processes and related risk management, technology, intellectual property, customs compliance and duty/tax savings, privacy and security, and outsourcing and related shared service transactions
  • identify major construction contracts and procurement and ancillary agreements, including Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) and/or Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Management (EPCM) agreements
  • discuss how the project will account for pipe/steel components in the current market of import quotas and steel tariffs

Deadline for EOIs is February 8, 2019

The window to submit an EOI is under two months and will close quickly. Companies that are interested in submitting an EOI will benefit from Bennett Jones' experience in serving clients on some of the largest and most complex oil and gas development projects in the country. In addition, our Government Affairs and Public Policy group can provide insight and practical steps on working with key government officials and participating in an efficient regulatory approval process.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Darrell R. Peterson
In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions