MONTREAL, Aug. 29, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Filling up at the gas station is
certainly the most familiar use of oil, but it's far from the only one.
In fact, hydrocarbon by-products are all around us and shape our daily
lives, in addition to supplying an entire sector of economic activity
built around refineries.
"Someone who wants to free himself from oil would have to make do
without telephones, ballpoint pens, clothing made from synthetic fibres
like polar fleece, glasses, toothpaste, all kinds of tires, and
thousands of other products made from plastic, a by-product of oil.
Some of these products are even designed, in Montreal, like Eska water
bottles," explains Jean-François Minardi, public policy analyst and
author of an MEI Economic Note published today.
Over the years, a petrochemical sector has developed around Montreal's
refineries, providing quality jobs for 3,600 workers. One part of this
industry is unique in North America: the polyester production chain.
This chain connects the Suncor refinery with three companies that, in
turn, transform hydrocarbons into different chemical compounds to
produce a polyester plastic used in the manufacture of recyclable
plastic bottles, food packaging, and carpets, among other things.
"This economic ecosystem, in which one company's products and even waste
become the raw materials for another company, is heavily reliant on a
steady supply of affordable hydrocarbons. This is exactly what the
Western provinces have to offer. The question is therefore not if this oil will be transported to Quebec, but how: using a network of pipelines, most of which already exist, or by
train, a riskier option," says Mr. Minardi.
With a refining capacity of 130,000 and 265,000 barrels a day
respectively, Suncor and Valero in Quebec City (formerly Ultramar) are
small players at the global level. They have to deal with competition
from super-refineries like the one in Jamnagar, India, whose daily
production is over a million barrels of oil.
The Economic Note entitled The Economic Benefits of Pipeline Projects to Eastern Canada was prepared by Jean-François Minardi, public policy analyst at the
MEI, and is available at www.iedm.org. Although released today, this publication was written in June, before
the tragedy that took place at Lac-Mégantic on July 6, 2013.
The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan,
not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its
publications and conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public
policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating
reforms based on market mechanisms.
SOURCE: MONTREAL ECONOMIC INSTITUTE
For further information:
Ariane Gauthier, Senior Advisor, Communications, Montreal Economic Institute
Tel.: 514 273-0969 ext. 2231 / Cell: 514 603-8746 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org