Alberta’s government will award royalty credits to petrochemical firms to encourage construction of facilities that make manufacturing materials.

The new Petrochemicals Diversification Program is for companies that produce the materials used in the manufacture of plastics, detergents and textiles.

Those companies do not directly benefit from royalty credits, rather they can trade or sell them to oil and gas producers. Those producers would then use these credits to reduce their royalty payments to government.

“This program builds on the royalty review panel’s recommendation for a value-added natural gas strategy to support further upgrading and production of higher-value energy products in Alberta,” said Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy. “This is another way to diversify our energy economy and create good jobs in Alberta.”

The government expects the newly constructed facilities to create up to 3000 new jobs during construction and 1000 once operation begins, in addition to attracting between $3 billion and $5 billion worth of investment in the province.

Petrochemical companies that receive the credits will be chosen through a competitive application process. The total amount of the program is $500 million.