Alberta heavyweight: Massive piece of equipment reaches destination
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Calgary's Janet Dirks
Published Friday, January 11, 2019 6:44AM EST
The largest load ever to hit Alberta's highways reached its final destination Thursday.
The splitter, a piece of polypropylene equipment, started being moved from Edmonton to a petrochemical plant near Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. on Sunday
According to the Alberta government, the "historic super load" weighs 820 tonnes and measures 96 metres long -- making it approximately as heavy as eight blue whales and as tall as Britain's Big Ben.
The size of the splitter gained attention from onlookers as it travelled at a peak speed of 15 km/h, taking it four days to complete a normally 40 minute commute.
While the splitter did tie up traffic in the area, Inter Pipeline's Heartland Petrochemical Complex said it arrived at the work site without issue.
For some locals, the new piece of equipment is about building back Alberta's self-esteem in tough times.
"It's history, it's Alberta and the way we do things. Look at it, it's something positive, that's what the people need," an Alberta resident said in an interview with CTV Calgary.
Now that its road trip is over, the splitter will soon help turn Alberta propane into recyclable plastics. Inter Pipeline says their new plant will be up and running by the end of 2021 and will create 13, 000 new jobs.
"There has been so much negativity in the news every day," said Inter Pipeline Senior Vice President Bernard Perron. "This is a good news."
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley was in Fort Saskatchewan to welcome the giant splitter. She told media that the plant is "a $3.5-billion investment" in the province.
"Ultimately, it may lay the ground work for more plastic manufacturing to happen here in Alberta," said Notley.
The splitter will eventually be moved upright in what Notley says will be a sign of a bright future for Alberta's economy.
"When you invest in economic diversification, you invest in Albertans… Projects like this are proof that the future is coming and that it will continue to be made right here in Alberta," said Notley.