A Calgary based company is working on setting up a $5.6 billion petrochemical facility in Prince George, with exports to global markets going through Prince Rupert.
West Coast Olefins made the announcement on July 24, 2019 that they have secured a 300-acre site in the BCR industrial area within Prince George in preparation for the construction of the project. The facility will include a ethylene plant and polyethylene facility and the majority of the polyethylene product will be shipped to Asian markets.
As per the July 24 news release, the company is preparing to enter the formal regulatory approval process and is targeting a final investment decision by the end of 2020. This process will be followed by a three-year construction period to bring the facilities into full commercial operation. The release further states that the company will engage in public engagement and a consultation process.
Mayor Lyn Hall of Prince George said, “Council strongly encourages businesses to invest in our community. We think this project has great potential and promises to have a major, positive economic impact for Prince George, the region and the whole province.”
The project is being constructed within the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.
Chief Clay Pountney is quoted in the release stating,” Lheidli T’enneh First Nation looks forward to potentially partnering with West Coast Olefins to ensure that if the project is approved will provide significant economic benefits to Lheidli T’enneh and our members, and is designed and built in a way that us aligned with our values.”
Once fully operational , the facility will create up to 1,000 permanent jobs while several workers will also be required to support the construction effort over the three-year period, stated the release.
The company further states that it is aware of the local sensitivity to air shed concerns in the ‘bowl area’ of Prince George, especially particulate matter and odour issues.
“The plant uses a low-carbon, clean burning mixture of methane and hydrogen as its main fuel source for fired equipment that has no soot or odour and minimizes GHG (Greenhouse Gases) emissions. We believe that this makes a strong case for how this project fits with the provincial climate action plan,” the release stated.
Ken James, president and CEO of West Coast Olefins said the Prince George facilities will use the latest available technologies and leverage feed stock and transport advantages available in the city.
“We will be the most competitive in North America. We are overwhelmed with the level of support we have received. Mayor Hall, council and city staff have been very helpful in understanding the importance of economic diversification to the city,” James said.
The overall project is going to include — An NGL Recovery Plant to recover ethane, propane, butane and natural gas condensate from Endbridge’s West Coast Pipeline; An Ethylene Plant to produce one million tonnes per year of polymer-grade ethylene; A Polyethylene Plant to consume most of the ethylene produced; Associated off-site facilities and infrastructure.
There is a possibility of a mono-ethylene glycol plant being constructed on site to utilize the balance of the ethylene produced say company officials, as per the release.