MONTREAL EAST, Nov. 25, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The members of the Coalition in Support of the Line 9B Reversal Project (the "Coalition") will be appearing over the next few days before the parliamentary commission that will examine Enbridge's proposal, a project essential to the Quebec economy. They plan to reiterate their support for the project and draw attention to its economic benefits for Quebec.
"Quebec spends nearly $14 billion to import overseas hydrocarbons, including oil from North Africa and the Middle East," said Françoise Bertrand, president and CEO of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec. "Oil from Alberta would not only reduce our trade balance, but it would also consolidate jobs and provide a boost for the petrochemical industry."
"The vast majority of companies in the petrochemical industry are located in metropolitan Montreal. A supply of Canadian oil that costs less than crude imported from overseas will enhance the competitiveness of this industrial ecosystem. Any energy strategy must be based on the diversity and stability of supply sources. Reversing Line 9B will open the door to the consolidation of Greater Montreal's petrochemical sector, both upstream and downstream of the value chain. Nearly 70% of companies in Quebec's chemical and petrochemical industries are concentrated here. That's why a secure, stable and affordable supply of Canadian oil must be part of our energy strategy. The proposed reversal of Line 9B will consolidate and increase the value of this sector in the metropolitan area," said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal.
"Nearly 7,500 highly paid direct and indirect jobs are affected by this project," added Isabelle Foisy, executive director of the Chambre de commerce de l'Est de Montréal. "Reversing Line 9B is first and foremost a way to ensure job stability and the future of the people here. It is this position that we will defend at the Commission's hearings."
André Brunelle, president of the Association Industrielle de l'Est de Montréal, echoes this position: "There's no doubt the proposed reversal of Line 9B will generate economic benefits for the petrochemical industry in east-end Montreal and across Quebec. Take polyester, for example, which is used to make clothing, packaging and many other everyday products. Its production chain is unique in Canada. By maintaining a dynamic, competitive industry, we ensure that these products are manufactured locally, with all the resulting benefits. Even if the petrochemical industry has highly knowledgeable people in its ranks and access to the latest technologies, its chances of success are slim if it does not have access to competitive raw materials," he explained.
"The Line 9B reversal is precisely the type of project that contributes to revitalizing industry in Quebec and enables the manufacturing sector to boost investments and exports. The petrochemical industry is highly strategic and involves many other associated sectors, providing leverage we cannot do without," said Simon Prévost, president of the Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Québec.
Less expensive crude oil and economic benefits for Quebec as a whole
The Enbridge project will give Quebec's refining and petrochemical industries, which have been hard hit in recent years, a reliable, better-priced supply source, which will in turn improve their productivity and, by the same token, that of our economy.
Yves-Thomas Dorval, president of the Quebec Employers Council, added that, "In our current difficult economic environment, the need for promising, profitable initiatives like Enbridge's project is greater than ever. They will create and maintain high-quality jobs, generate significant tax benefits and generate lasting prosperity by enhancing quality of life for all Quebeckers."
"Ultramar's Jean Gaulin refinery in Lévis is one of the most technologically advanced in North America. Access to Alberta oil would ensure it remains competitive, consolidating its positioning and hence the thousands of jobs and significant economic benefits it generates for our region," remarked Jérôme Jolicoeur, executive director of the Chambre de commerce de Lévis.
A project that fits with sustainable, responsible development
Unifor is another organization that will speak at the hearings. According to its national representative, Daniel Cloutier, "in compliance with the strictest environmental standards, this is a project we cannot do without. It's about consolidating and developing jobs, and creating wealth for decades to come. We cannot afford to go through another drama like the closing of the Shell refinery," he concluded.
Contrary to the hypotheses put forward by the project's opponents, Natural Resources Canada, the Transportation Research Board and the US National Academy of Sciences have confirmed that diluted bitumen would not be more corrosive than other types of crude. It is therefore erroneous to claim that given the corrosive nature of the product transported, the integrity of Line 9B would be at greater risk in the event of a spill.
About Enbridge's Line 9B reversal project
Enbridge's proposal to reverse the flow in Line 9B, which runs between Sarnia, Ontario, and Montreal, is in response to requests from customers in both provinces. The project will also increase the current capacity from 240,000 to 300,000 barrels per day, and carry oil and other petroleum products primarily from Western Canada, a supply that is more secure and less costly than that currently brought in by ship from the North Sea, West Africa and the Middle East. The reversal and the increased volume will not necessitate the addition of a new pipeline. All work to install pumps and other material and equipment will be done on existing Enbridge rights-of-way and properties, with the exception of a few temporary works areas.
About the Coalition in support of the Line 9B reversal project
Members of the Coalition in support of the Line 9B reversal project include the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, Quebec Employers Council, Chambre de commerce de l'est de Montréal, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Chambre de Commerce de Lévis, the Association industrielle de l'Est de Montréal, Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters, and Unifor, locals 163, 175, 194 and 2005. Together, they support Enbridge's Line 9B reversal project and say YES: to the economic prosperity of Quebec; to the thousands of Quebec jobs that depend on it, and to the safest transportation mode for petroleum.
SOURCE: Coalition in Support of the Line 9B Reversal Project
For further information:
Association Industrielle de l'Est de Montréal
Chambre de commerce de l'Est de Montréal
514-354-5378, ext. 225
Chambre de commerce de Lévis
418-837-3411, ext. 226
Michelle Llambias Meunier
Media relations advisor
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
514-871-4000, ext. 4042
Senior advisor, communications
Quebec Employers Council
Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec
514-844-9571, ext. 3227
Advisor, public affairs
Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Québec
514-866-7774, ext. 2125