Alberta’s October announcement of a new natural gas policy is focused on three initiatives: a plastics recycling program, the development of a hydrogen economy and exports of natural gas to Asia and Europe. The last would require new export pipelines and up to three Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export plants.
As reported in Calgary’s Herald, 7 October Alberta aims to become a “centre of excellence for plastics diversion and recycling” by 2030 and also join in the exportation of hydrogen and hydrogen-based products in North America by 2040.” However, the recent worldwide increase in the construction of new plastics feedstock plants is leading to fears of a potential glut in plastics production by 2030. Also, increasing public demands to cut plastic waste and increase recycling rates, threaten the viability of Alberta's policies.
Alberta could begin blending hydrogen into its natural gas pipeline system as soon as next year and a detailed plan in line with neighbouring British Columbia and Saskatchewan’s hydrogen policies should be ready by 2023. Dale Nally, Alberta’s Associate Minister of Natural Gas is reported by the Globe and Mail 6 October “Hydrogen by 2050 is going to be a C $3.5-trillion industry and we want as big of a piece of that for Alberta as we possibly can. ” Given the worldwide glut in LNG, it is unlikely that the three new LNG plants will be built.