Sturgeon refinery gains Wetaskiwin County support

Following a tour of the Sturgeon County North West Refinery, Wetaskiwin county councillors are looking...

Following a tour of the Sturgeon County North West Refinery, Wetaskiwin county councillors are looking to garner provincial and federal support for the refinery.

Council is writing letters to the four MLAs of the area, the Minister of Energy and MP Mike Lake, with a copy being sent to the reeve of Sturgeon County, encouraging the officials to also take a tour of the refinery.

Coun. Larry McKeever feels, with current issues regarding the Northern Gateway pipeline and coal usage, supporting the refinery is a “win-win” situation.

Other positives McKeever mentioned were low polluting byproducts and job creation, upwards of 500.

“I just think the least we can do is write our four MLAs and suggest, if they haven’t been to the operation, to see it,” said McKeever.

Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers says the second phase of the refinery is no longer on the table, leading to a loss of the expected construction jobs. “And that’s going to be huge.”

“It sounded like they didn’t get a grant they were supposed to,” she added.

Council says this indicates the refinery and its operations are not being supported by the government.

“We need to support this. Albertans have put a lot of money into this,” said Rooyakkers.

During council’s Sept. 21 councillors shared; the refinery produces around of 4,500 barrels of of low-sulfur diesel at a cost of $17, and selling for approximately $31.