Newsletter: Summer 2017

Newsletter: Summer 2017


New Traffic Signals Coming to Highway 643

Heartland industrial companies in Sturgeon County have been advocating for traffic signal controls at three key intersections along Highway 643 from Highway 28A at Gibbons east to the heavy industrial-zoned area. The installation of new signal controls are now occurring and are at various stages of progress for intersections at Highways 28A & 643, Highway 825, Opal Road & Highway 643, and Range Road 220 & Highway 643.

Activities will Improve Understanding of Regional Air Quality

Fort Air Partnership (FAP) has several key activities underway which will significantly improve our understanding of regional air quality.

Station Changes

This fall and winter, a number of continuous air monitoring station changes are being made by FAP to enhance its network coverage. A station currently located next door to industrial facilities south of Redwater will be moved to the urban centre to better track ambient air conditions where people live. This station will collect the data necessary to calculate the Air Quality Health Index. A continuous air monitoring station called Scotford Temporary will also be moved a few kilometres from its present location to improve air monitoring data collection.

FAP will also be introducing its first portable continuous air monitoring station this year. The portable station will move around the airshed, staying a minimum of six months in one place, to monitor air quality in areas previously underserved by FAP’s nine fixed-in-place continuous air monitoring stations. The portable station will track many substances and produce data to calculate a daily and forecast Air Quality Health Index. An announcement on where the station will be located first is expected this fall.

Vision 2030

FAP has embarked on a planning process that will create a blueprint for its future growth and development. Called Vision 2030, stakeholders are invited to provide input into this process.

To help guide input, a Vision 2030 Consultation Discussion Guide has been developed. There are many ways to participate. A number of roundtable discussions are being held. Those unable to attend a face-to-face session, including members of the public, are encouraged to review the Guide and provide their input in writing on or before September 30, 2017.

Following the consultation, FAP will report back on what it heard. The Board of Directors will consider the input through a number of lenses such as feasibility, desirability, funding and other factors and use that information to help guide the organization’s future direction and activities. Please note that any new initiatives or services that Fort Air Partnership may employ will be contingent on identifying sufficient and sustainable funding for development and operational support.

QUEST Exceeds Expectations

Still in its second year of operation, Shell Canada’s Quest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project continues to exceed expectations. The capture unit is operating better than planned. The storage facility is also performing very well, with only two of three wells required to safely maintain injection into the reservoir.

The Quest project received a 2017 APEGA Summit Award for Environment and Sustainability, set a global CCS record of 1.2M tonnes for total injection volume for a one year period and recently passed the 2M tonnes of captured CO2.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, sequestration of this much carbon dioxide is equivalent to:

  • Driving 5 billion miles less in your car
  • Burning 2 billion less pounds of coal
  • Turning off a coal-fired power plant for six months

For more information on the project visit Shell’s Quest carbon capture and storage web page.

Projects, Products and People Highlighted in Industry Updates

More than 200 local residents and business owners spent valuable face to face time with their industrial neighbors at Life in the Heartland’s Community Information Evening held April 12 in Josephburg.

Over 20 companies and organizations shared details at their booths about their future plans and activities. Four presentations showcased industry’s recent expansion projects, community investment, and diversity of products that are created in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.

Among the presenters were Sherritt International’s Lyle Trytten, Director of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs. “We are proud to be a Canadian company having operated more than 60 years in Fort Saskatchewan. We’re the grandfather of the Heartland. We have proven we can run a sustainable business here and we look forward to doing it for a long time to come,” Trytten explained. “Sherritt has attracted top class researchers from around the world to help develop new technologies here in Alberta that we then export across the globe.”

Trytten shared how Sherritt’s products like nickel and cobalt are keys to environment and technology innovation. These products are used in casting for wind turbines and electric vehicles, both of which are becoming more popular in the growth of greener alternatives for power and transportation. Rechargeable batteries also contain nickel, which means that smart phones used every day around the world may be running on nickel produced right here in the Heartland.

As Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing region, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is also well known for facilities like Shell’s upgrader and refinery that produce gas, diesel, and jet fuel. In Shell’s presentation by Health, Safety, Security and Environment Manager Mario Kulas, their #fuellingkindness community investment was highlighted. In 2016, $428,000 was contributed to community projects and over 600 employees volunteered in various capacities throughout the region.

Additional presenters included the Northeast Capital Industrial Association who provided details on scheduled turnarounds this year. These turnarounds will generate additional employment and local spending on goods and services. Also presenting, Darin Stuckey, Director of Terminal Operations with Keyera highlighted their purchase of land in Strathcona County from Sasol in January. While there are no immediate plans for the 1,290 acres, Keyera is confident in future growth opportunities. Stuckey also noted Keyera’s community investment in 2016 valued at $850,000 for a variety of organizations, causes, and projects.

The presentations are posted at Tweets from the evening can be found by following @LifeinHeartland or searching #ABHeartland on Twitter. A video of the presentations can be viewed at

Save the Date

Heartland Community Information Evening

Monday, October 23
Pembina Place in Redwater
Doors open at 5:00 PM
Presentations begin at 6:00 PM

Join us for an information update with businesses and industry-related organizations within Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and surrounding region. Hear about current industrial projects, activities, and plans. For info, please contact

Upcoming Turnarounds

Summer (Jun/Jul/mid-Aug)

  • Keyera Corp.
  • Oerlikon Metco
  • Sherritt International
  • Umicore Canada

Fall (Late-Aug/Sep/Oct)

  • Air Liquide Canada
  • Agrium Redwater
  • Chemtrade Logistics

New Executive Director Joins AIHA

Mark Plamondon

Mark Plamondon

As Alberta’s Industrial Heartland grows into a global leader in energy processing, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA) new Executive Director Mark Plamondon will guide the activities of the municipal partnership.

“This is a very exciting opportunity to help build upon the success achieved by Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association since it was formed in 1998. AIHA has the natural resources, innovative technology, manpower, and commitment to the environment to be a world leader in responsible energy development. I look forward to advancing AIHA’s vision,” commented Plamondon.

Plamondon’s previous experience is an asset to the role. He spent 22 years in management, operations, business development, and financial analysis of mineral and refining operations. He comes to the Association with extensive international experience, which is valuable as AIHA continues building relationships with investors, governments, and other stakeholders across the globe.

As a resident of Fort Saskatchewan and former employee with industrial companies in the region, Plamondon is familiar with industry, the community, and local stakeholders. Most recently, Plamondon was Senior Vice President with Sherritt International Corporation, responsible for Sherritt’s nickel mining, processing, and refining operations in Madagascar. Plamondon’s education includes a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

“We welcome Mark to this important role with AIHA. His expertise and background are an ideal fit for our municipal partnership,” said Ed Gibbons, Chair of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association. “As we approach our 20th anniversary, we remain focused on advocating for responsible energy development, promoting the region and province, and planning for infrastructure and services. We’re pleased that Mark will lead AIHA as Executive Director toward these goals over the coming years.”

NRCAER Welcomes New Chair

Brad Ward

Brad Ward

Northeast Region Community Awareness Emergency Response (NRCAER) proudly welcomes its new Board Chair Brad Ward, Director of Protective Services and Deputy Director of Emergency Management with the City of Fort Saskatchewan.

Brad brings a wealth of experience, with a strong policing background and a 35-year career with the Edmonton Police Service. He has chaired or served on five national committees, a few provincial policing committees, and is recipient of numerous awards and medals. Brad has been married to a local Fort Saskatchewan girl for 36 years and they have called Fort Saskatchewan home for 23 of those years.  He is proud to work in and contribute to his home city, and is equally honoured to serve as the Chair of the NRCAER Board of Directors.

“As a resident, I value that NRCAER is making my community and the entire region safer,” he says. “It is an organization that facilitates the exchange of best practices, ensures there is an established network as well as coordination between our industries and our communities, which makes emergency management effective.” Ward was passed the torch from former Strathcona County Fire Chief Iain Bushell, who accepted a position in June with the Scottish National Fire Service in Glasgow.

Be Ready for Tornado and Severe Weather

July 31 marks the 30th anniversary of Black Friday, the F4 tornado that ripped through Edmonton and Strathcona County, leaving 27 fatalities and much devastation in its wake.


“As Albertans, we enjoy being outdoors as much as possible during the summer,” says Brenda Gheran, Executive Director with NRCAER.  “It’s important to remember that this is also severe weather and tornado season, which we need to be prepared for.”  This was underscored in June with severe wind and thunderstorms that left damage in many parts of the region. For more information on severe weather and tornado preparedness, visit

MOVES Campaign


On Clean Air Day (June 7), Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) launched its first ever MOVES Campaign – a 30 day challenge to encourage Albertans to move with the air in mind by using active transportation and fuel efficient practices when driving. The challenges were simple and ranged from activities like walking to library, downloading the AQHI app, to maintaining tire pressure and speed when driving. The program was promoted internally to encourage Government of Alberta staff to model the way and publicly through Alberta Environment and Parks Blog and Twitter accounts.

Although the last challenge was shared on July 7, it’s never too late to join in and continue moving with the air in mind. To learn more, visit AEP’s blog and follow them on Twitter @AB_EP.

Mutual Aid Group Reaches Out with Preparedness Messages

NRCAER held its annual Emergency Preparedness event in Fort Saskatchewan on May 1, distributing information and tools to those who attended. “This year, we wanted to observe the one year anniversary of the Fort McMurray wildfire, and to underscore the importance of being prepared for emergencies of all kinds,” says Brenda Gheran, with NRCAER.

Anumber of Grade 4 classes in the region participated in NRCAER’s “Shelter in Place” Pizza Party contest.  Students watch the safety video Mona Talks About Shelter-in-Place and teachers enter their class online. Contest winners were treated to a pizza lunch and a safety talk with local industry representatives, and teachers were provided with emergency preparedness kits.

Strathcona County held 72-Hour Emergency Preparedness information sessions for residents, and NRCAER provided personal emergency preparedness kits as draw prizes.