The former Methanex property may be under new ownership, but it’s business as usual as far as operations on site are concerned.
In 2005, with Methanex shutting down the methanol plant, Encana contracted to use the infrastructure to import condensate which it then sent by rail to its oil sands operations in Alberta.
The agreement saw Methanex continue to be in charge of operating the terminal and Encana given a five-year option to buy the property.
That option was exercised late last year by Cenovus.
Last year Encana split its operations into two companies, one dealing with the natural gas side of its operations – it retained the Encana name – and the oil division – which included condensate – being named Cenovus.
But, says Methanex Vice-president of Manufacturing North America Kevin Henderson, “We continue to ship product through there and we are continuing in the interim as operator.”
That said, at some point in the future Cenovus will take over operations.
Asked if, once its Medicine Hat plant is back in operation Methanex will cease importing methanol through Kitimat as it has been since the plant shutdown, Henderson said, “It really depends on our distribution in Western Canada, where the need for the product is.”