Alberta bitumen upgrades fall short

The Alberta Federation of Labour says the Premier needs to live up to a five-year-old promise to upgrade more of the province's bitumen, right here in Alberta.

Figures from the AFL released Monday show the amount of bitumen upgraded here will drop to about 52 per cent in 2016, not the 72 per cent Ed Stelmach promised for that same year.

The group's president, Gil McGowan, tells The Calgary Herald the figures show this is one of the biggest about-faces in Alberta history and wants the province to focus on building more upgrading facilities and not more pipelines.

A University of Alberta professor says it hasn't been economically viable for companies to build upgraders here, something the Premier's office echoed, saying the high Canadian dollar makes such a move uneconomical.

660News, Tues Jul 19 2011

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