MONTREAL, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – The Coalition in support of the Line 9B reversal project and its member organizations reiterate their support for the Enbridge project and will participate in the National Energy Board hearings being held in Montreal this week.
A key project for Quebec
The Line 9B reversal project proposed by Enbridge is essential to Quebec’s economy because it will bolster Quebec’spetrochemical industry by providing its refining and petrochemical sectors with a reliable and lower-cost source of supply. It will also reduce its dependence refiners on foreign offshore oil, in addition to ensuring security of supply forQuebec’s domestic energy market.
“Quebec spends nearly $14 billion on overseas hydrocarbon imports; this includes oil from North Africa and the Middle East,” said Françoise Bertrand, President and CEO of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ). “Oil from Alberta would not only reduce the bill, but would also consolidate jobs and boost the petrochemical industry. It is essential that these arguments be taken into account.”
“Almost 70% of companies in the petrochemical and chemical industries are located in the Montreal metropolitan area. A secure, stable and affordable supply of Canadian oil should be part of our energy strategy. The Line 9B reversal project will consolidate and develop the value chain of the sector in the metropolitan area,” argued Mr. Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM).
“There are nearly 4,000 highly paid direct and indirect jobs that are affected by this project,” says Isabelle Foisy, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Montreal (CMTC). “Reversing Line 9B is first and foremost a way to ensure job stability and the future of the people here. That is why we want to be heard at the National Energy Board hearings.”
André Brunelle, President of the Association Industrielle de l’Est de Montréal (AIEM), echoes this position: “There is no doubt that the proposed reversal of Line 9B will generate economic benefits for the petrochemical industry in eastern Montreal and Quebec. Take polyester for example, which is used to make clothing, packaging and several other everyday products. Its production chain is unique in Canada. By maintaining a dynamic and competitive industry, we ensure that these products are manufactured locally, with all the benefits that come with that.” He added, “While the petrochemical industry may well have in its ranks the most knowledgeable people and have access to the latest technologies, its chances of success are slim if it does not have access to competitive raw materials.”
“It is obvious to us that the Line 9B reversal provides Quebec with significant leverage, allowing the petrochemical industry and all related industries to secure their supply, which contributes directly to their competitiveness. More than ever, we need to move forward with this important economic project that will promote private investment and exports,” said Simon Prévost, President of Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters.
Yves-Thomas Dorval, President of the Quebec Employers Council (CPQ), added: “In the current difficult economic environment, any project that could increase the economic development of Montreal, greater Montreal and Quebec, or that could create conditions that foster this, is essential. That goes for the employers directly affected by it, those with business relationships with them, as well as for the Quebec population as a whole.”
Access to Alberta oil would also preserve the petrochemical expertise we have in Quebec. “We need this project to consolidate the presence of the Jean Gaulin refinery, owned by Valero, in Lévis, which is one of the most efficient refineries in North America,” said Jérôme Jolicoeur, Executive Director of the Lévis Chamber of Commerce. “Ensuring access to a reliable source of supply at the best price seems essential for it to remain competitive, which will benefit employees, the region and the province.”
A project that is part of a sustainable and responsible development perspective
Protecting the environment is a priority for the Coalition. The Enbridge project is part of a sustainable development perspective as it endorses a balance between economic, environmental and social issues.
As demonstrated by several studies, the reversal of Line 9B does not imply any additional environmental impact onQuebec. One conducted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, for example, has shown that the assumption that the nature of the oil transported through the Enbridge pipeline would increase the risk of rupture is unfounded.
Unifor is another organization that will speak up at the hearings. According to its national representative, Daniel Cloutier, “in compliance with the strictest environmental standards, this is a project we cannot do without. This is about consolidating and developing jobs, and creating wealth for decades to come. We cannot afford to go through another tragedy like the closing down of the Shell refinery,” he concluded.
About Enbridge’s Line 9B reversal project
Enbridge’s project to reverse the flow in Line 9B, which runs between Sarnia, Ontario, and Montreal, is in response to requests from customers in both provinces. The project will also increase the current capacity from 240,000 to 300,000 barrels per day, and carry oil and other petroleum products primarily from Western Canada, a supply that is more secure and less costly than that currently brought in by ship from the North Sea, West Africa and the Middle East. The reversal and the increased capacity will not necessitate the addition of a new pipeline. All work to install pumps and other material and equipment will be done on existing Enbridge right-of-ways and properties, with the exception of a few temporary workspaces.
About the Coalition in support of the Line 9B reversal project
Members of the Coalition in support of the Line 9B reversal project include: Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, Quebec Employers Council, Chambre de commerce de l’est de Montréal, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Chambre de Commerce de Lévis, l’Association industrielle de l’Est de Montréal, Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters, and Unifor, Local 163, 175, 194 and 2005. Together, they support Enbridge’s Line 9B reversal project and say YES: to the economic prosperity of Quebec; to the thousands of Quebec jobs that depend on it, and to the safest transportation mode for petroleum.
SOURCE Association Industrielle de l’Est de Montréal (AIEM)