The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is Western Canada’s manufacturing capital as well as a major transportation and logistics hub for export and trade.
With a clear focus on innovation and productivity improvement, the sector plays an important role in the overall economic health and growth of the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.
The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is home to Alberta’s largest manufacturing and processing hub — accounting for nearly 40% of Alberta’s total manufacturing production. The domestic energy sector fuels the demand for metal fabrication and machinery manufacturing.
The industrial manufacturing industry continues to grow in Edmonton and the province of Alberta. In 2014, Alberta revenues from the industrial manufacturing sector equalled $15.6 billion, up from $10.3 billion in 2009. The sector is projected to grow at an average of 3.5% per year through 2017 in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region alone.
Although much of Alberta’s manufacturing stays within the province to support the energy sector, 30% of total manufactured goods produced are exported internationally, primarily to North American and Asian markets.
Local companies involved in industrial manufacturing include Cessco Fabrication & Engineering Ltd., Allfab Metals Ltd., Edmonton Exchanger & Manufacturing Ltd., Dynamic Source Manufacturing and Alta Steel.
Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, 582 square kilometres in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, makes up the largest petrochemical processing cluster in the province, and one of the largest in the country, contributing 43% to the nation’s basic chemical manufacturing.
The region has many benefits to the sector including: a strategic location near major resource extraction areas; natural storage capacity; access to upgraders, plants and refineries; efficient transportation systems; and ready access to a skilled and educated workforce.
In addition, Edmonton’s Energy and Technology Park offers industrial development opportunities for greenfield petrochemical processing, industrial manufacturing, logistics, research and development, engineering and other businesses that support, supply and service the heavy industry located within Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and resource companies located in the Edmonton service area covering central and Northern Alberta.
To support value-added processing within Alberta, Alberta’s Incremental Ethane Extraction Program provides an incentive through royalty credits to encourage greater production of ethane and promote value-added petrochemical production.
MANUFACTURING INNOVATION & SOLUTIONS
Edmonton has many facilities and programs available to manufacturers who are interested in growing through innovation and collaboration.
The Manufacturing Centre of Excellence , an industry-led initiative, provides direct support to organizations looking to increase their productivity, innovation and growth. The centre links manufacturers to experts and researchers who can help them deal with business challenges.
The NAIT Shell Manufacturing Centre, located near Edmonton’s downtown core, was created to assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers with improving business processes by providing productivity solutions using innovative technology and manufacturing expertise. The centre specializes in research regarding prototyping, plan design, fabrication, control systems, and robotics and automation.
Lastly, the University of Alberta works with Alberta Innovates and the Government of Alberta to support the Alberta Metal Fabrication Innovation Program, offering private sector opportunities to enhance efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.