The birthplace of Canada’s Petrochemical Industry, Sarnia-Lambton is famous for being the site of North America’s first commercial oil well after the discovery of oil in Oil Springs in 1857.
The Sarnia-Lambton Petrochemical and Refining Complex has since grown to include three refineries and more than thirty-five interrelated chemical facilities with processes ranging across the hydrocarbon value chain.
The Sarnia-Lambton area now represents Canada’s second largest cluster of companies in the petrochemical and refining sector and represents the largest industrial sector locally. It is home to many well-known multinational companies, including Air Products, CF Industries, ARLANXEO, Cabot, Exxon-Mobil (through its Canadian affiliate Imperial Oil), NOVA Chemicals, Plains Midstream, Praxair, Royal Dutch Shell, INEOS Styrolution, and Suncor.
Infrastructure to Support Long-Term Growth
- Energy – Electricity is the driver of industry and Sarnia-Lambton has an extensive Power Infrastructure. Our community has over 2,300 MW of natural gas based electrical generating capacity, 120 MW of solar capacity and 420 MW of proposed wind generation capacity. An additional 300 MW natural gas electrical generation station is currently in the early stages of construction.
- Natural Gas – Union Gas’s Dawn Facility is the largest underground natural gas storage facility in Canada, supplying much of the needs of eastern Canada.
- Water – Lambton Area Water Supply (LAWS) is the main water distribution company, sourcing water from Lake Huron and distributing it throughout Sarnia-Lambton (capacity of 181,844 m³/day).
- Pipelines – Major pipelines bring crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, and ethane to the region, and a further network of pipelines facilitates transfer of intermediate feed stocks and raw materials from one company to another within Sarnia-Lambton. Access is provided to raw materials from the Marcellus Shale Basin in the northeastern U.S., Western Canada, the U.S. Gulf Coast and offshore from the Atlantic Seaboard.
- Storage – Underground salt caverns allow for the storage of significant volumes of products.
- Process Water – The St. Clair River provides cooling and process water and is a vital link on the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Multiple Routes to Multiple Markets
Through various transportation modes, Sarnia-Lambton provides immediate access to key North American and world markets:
- Land – Highway 402 connects Sarnia-Lambton with Ontario’s 400-series highway system to the east and Michigan’s Interstate 94/69/75 network via the international Blue Water Bridge to the west.
- Rail – While serviced by CN North America and CSX Transportation, Sarnia-Lambton hosts Canada’s second largest international rail yard, and provides access to the St. Clair rail tunnel, connecting Sarnia with Michigan.
- Ship – Bordered by water and a link in the St. Lawrence Seaway system, Sarnia-Lambton is home to the Port of Sarnia, ship fuelling and repair facilities, and several deep water docking locations.
Multinational Companies Highlight the Sector in Sarnia-Lambton
CF Industries – converts air and natural gas into a variety of nitrogen-based chemicals for both agricultural and industrial applications to produce 1.2 million tonnes of products such as anhydrous and aqua ammonia, urea, nitric acid and nitrogen solutions.
Imperial Oil Products & Chemical Products – operates a refinery with a capacity of 119,000 barrels a day. The chemical operations annually produce more than one million tonnes of polyethylene, specialized solvents, olefins, aromatics and plasticizer feedstocks.
ARLANXEO Canada Inc. – operates a major synthetic rubber production facility in Sarnia for Butyl Rubber (regular butyl, chlorobutyl, and bromobutyl) with an annual capacity of 150,000 tons. The site also manufactures fossil resources and bio-based raw materials.
NOVA Chemicals – operates three manufacturing facilities in Sarnia-Lambton. These sites produce ethylene and co-products including propylene, butadiene and benzene (Corunna), low-density and high-density polyethylene resins (Moore), and high-density and linear-low-density polyethylene resin (St. Clair).
Shell Canada – operations a refinery which produces gasoline, distillates, liquid petroleum gas, heavy oils, pure chemicals and solvents from 75,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Suncor Energy Company – operates a refinery with a capacity of 80,000 barrels per day. Products from this site include fuel related products such as gasoline, kerosene, jet and diesel fuels.