Governor Matt Mead and Wyoming business leaders wrapped up a visit to Alberta Canada this week. The last leg of the Governor's trade mission revealed a number of opportunities for Wyoming companies in that province. Governor Mead also met with provincial officials from Alberta and Canadian companies doing business in Wyoming.
"Like Wyoming, Alberta is a leading energy producer. Our state and that province both lead in supplying fuel and power for North America. We saw how companies from our state can grow their operations in Canada and I saw technologies like oil sands in-situ mining as well as industries that add value to energy resources. It was a productive trip," Governor Mead said. "I want to express my thanks to leadership from the Province of Alberta and the Canadian government for hosting us. I also thank the businesses that traveled to Canada as part of this trade mission. They are great companies with a lot of potential for even more growth."
The companies on the Alberta leg of the trip were High Country Fabrication from Casper, Trihydro Corporation and Western Research Institute, both from Laramie.
Trihydro's President and CEO, Jack Bedessem, traveled with Governor Mead. Trihydro Corporation is an engineering and environmental consulting firm that has been headquartered in Laramie, Wyoming for almost 30 years. "The discussions in Alberta highlighted the similarities in business culture and philosophy, as well as the common goal of environmentally responsible and sustainable development. Wyoming and Alberta clearly share some unique challenges and connections that provide opportunities in both directions," Bedessem said. "All aspects of this trip were very informative and forward-looking. I hope that Wyoming will continue fostering the development of these trade relations - they are essential for the future of our businesses."
High Country Fabrication was represented on the trip by Engineering Manager, Ben Schrader. High Country Fabrication is a custom manufacturer of pressure vessels, reactors, columns, reboilers, scrubbers, shell and tube heat exchangers and other equipment. "Our travels in Alberta were eye-opening with respect to the level of organized planning and development underway to advance opportunities around the Province's energy resources. High Country Fabrication exports a significant amount of process equipment into Alberta and it is a very important market for our business. The trip provided valuable insight into Alberta's energy development activities and will help us to further align our business strategy to enhance our relationships in the Province," Schrader said.
Western Research Institute (WRI) was represented by CEO, Don Colllins. WRI is a Laramie-based research institute that focuses on energy technologies, primarily in asphalts and heavy oil. "This trip allowed us to fully understand the current technologies and complications around processing oil from the area. WRI currently has a joint research project with MEG Energy, headquartered in Calgary, with in-situ mining operations in northern Alberta. This trip was beneficial in growing cooperation between MEG Energy and WRI as well as the State of Wyoming. It also helped us understand where other technologies and research can be implemented in Western Canada and potential opportunities to collaborate with other institutes."
The visit to Alberta included a stop at Canada's Heartland, which is the largest hydrocarbon processing facility in Canada. "This is an impressive facility, which companies and the Province carefully planned to add value to oil and natural gas," Governor Mead said.
Governor Mead also visited the oil sands near Fort McMurray, Alberta. The oil produced there is shipped all over North America. "This is a vast oil play in an area that is significant for the local First Nations and for its wilderness. I saw that the development is being done responsibly and that techniques are being employed to reduce the footprint of the production," Governor Mead said. Several facilities in Alberta use in-situ mining to produce oil.