Eurasia Group CEO Robert Johnston spoke to roughly 150 delegates during the Petrochem Canada conference Wednesday morning. Sept. 27, 2017 (Photo by Jake Jeffrey)

Petrochemical Industry Has Potential For Significant Growth

An industry leader believes Sarnia-Lambton’s petrochemical industry has potential for significant growth.

Eurasia Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Johnston spoke to roughly 150 delegates during the Petrochem Canada conference Wednesday morning.

He says there are plenty of challenges standing in the way, like competition in Saudi Arabia, China and the US Gulf Coast.  Johnston says there are several things working in Sarnia-Lambton’s favour.

“I think you can get some definite growth here with standing and existing projects,” says Johnston. “I think if you can get electricity issues resolved and get continued access to feedstocks from western Canada and Pennsylvania — that will be a key factor for success here.”

He says uncertainty between the federal and provincial governments also makes international investors hesitant.

“The main message is, are the federal and provincial government on the same page on environmental issues, on manufacturing and tax policies,” says Johnston. “For international investors sometimes it’s hard to discern who’s really in charge of the key energy chemical sector.”

Johnston says he’s following the Trump administration’s discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement, but believes decisions made in Saudi Arabia and China will have a more significant impact on local industry.