$13-billion oil refinery proposed for Kitimat area

David Black, owner of Black Press, announced this morning plans to construct a $13 billion oil refinery in the Kitimat area



As Enbridge continues to move forward with its plans for a pipeline to ship oil through Kitimat to Asia, David Black – the owner and president of Black Press which owns newspapers throughout BC including the Kitimat Northern Sentinel – announced this morning plans to construct a $13 billion oil refinery in the Kitimat area.

Black incorporated a company called Kitimat Clean Ltd., which plans to build a refinery 25 kilometres north of Kitimat and 25 kilometres south of Terrace large enough to process all of the capacity from the Northern Gateway pipeline prior to it being shipped through the Douglas Channel. The plant would process up to 550,000 barrels per day of dibit to be shipped back to Edmonton, 240,000 barrels per day of diesel, 100,000 barrels per day of gasoline and 50,000 barrels per day of kerosene. The product would then be shipped to a marine terminal site in Kitimat that is currently planned to be used for the Enbridge crude oil shipping terminal.

“The refinery will eliminate any chance of a crude oil spill from shipping through Kitimat. Gasoline, kerosene and diesel, which are the products from the refinery all float and are all evaporative,” explained Black.

“We want it to be the cleanest and the greenest operating refinery in the world…Because Canada has such stringent environmental regulations, it will likely be the cleanest refinery built in the world in the next 20 years.”

According to Black, processing the oil before it is shipped out will remove the threat of offshore pollution from heavy cruise due to the evaporative properties of kerosene, gasoline and diesel.

Construction plans call for groundbreaking in 2014, with the facility complete in 2020. During the five year construction period, an estimated 6,000 workers would be needed, while another 3,000 permanent jobs would be created during operation, with half of those being provided through private contractors.

“I really believe all of these jobs are needed for the next generation and for those in communities where mills may be closing in the next few decades,” he said.

With work on the Kitimat Modernization winding down at about the same time as the construction of this project gets underway, Black says there could be a large labour force here in the northwest.

“If all the projects move ahead, the temporary construction jobs could move into full-time as people move from one project to another,” he said, noting the 2,100 people at the modernization camp would be available for this or the proposed LNG plants move ahead.

“I don’t see Kitimat as a Fort McMurray. When kids need work they zip up to Fort McMurray and then back, whereas I can see people looking at Kitimat as a place they could move to and make a home.”

So far, prior to the submission of the environmental assessment application earlier this morning, Kitimat Clean Ltd. has spoken to the different levels of government about the project, have reviewed the project with investment bankers and been told the revenues and profits are enough to enable equity and debt financing, have discussed the plans with Enbridge and other oil sands producers and brought on-board a refinery consultant. However, the $13 billion for the construction of the project has not been confirmed.

“The money for the environmental assessment has been put up. It will take about two years for the assessment, and while we’re doing that we’ll be talking to industry and customers in Asia and getting the rest of the financing in place,” said Black, noting that not all of the partners in the Northern Gateway project are in favour of a refinery as opposed to shipping the oil.

“If there is no Enbridge pipeline there is no refinery. And if we don’t believe the pipeline can be built in a way that ensures any leaks will be immaterial then it shouldn’t be built.”

Kitimat mayor Joanne Monaghan said she was excited to hear about the plan.

“This project will probably, if it goes ahead and we are hopeful it does, will probably change the face of the northwest forever,” she said.

“I think this is a great day in history.”

Terrace mayor Dave Pernarowski said he too was glad to hear of the proposal.

“The City of Terrace is always open to new business and job creation opportunities. Mr. Black is a highly respected and successful businessman in B.C. and, as the owner of one of our key media outlets, the Terrace Standard, he is a valued member of our growing business community,” he said in an e-mail to Black Press.

“At this time, we don’t know enough about the project to comment one way or another about it, but we look forward to working with Mr. Black in the future and engaging with our citizens regarding any major investments that could create jobs and help grow our amazing city.”

However serious discussions with the Haisla and the Kitselas, on whose traditional territories the terminal and refinery would be located respectively, have not taken place.

“This is obviously not my field. But I worry about the next generation, we really need jobs and we need decent jobs,” he said.

Black also said the refinery would help address concerns from the province about an economic benefit to BC from the pipeline.

For his part, Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said he is doubtful anything will come to pass from this announcement.

“He’s making an announcement with no money, no local support and no support from First Nations so it is very hard to take seriously,” he said.

“There is a reason nobody is backing this…For a newspaper baron to say how the oil industry should be running when nobody in the oil industry is doing this themselves is ridiculous.”

For its part, Enbridge was trying to keep a low profile on the day and released a simple statement about the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

“Enbridge Northern Gateway remains committed to the regulatory process reviewing our application for the project. The Formal Hearings as part of the Joint Review Panel process are set to begin September 4 where issues related to the project are to be reviewed in public and in detail,” said company spokesperson Todd Nogier.

Look for more on this story throughout the day here at www.northernsentinel.com

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Kitimat commits itself to the global fight against polio

Mayor Phil Germuth signs a proclamation

$2 million landfill capping complete

The purpose is to minimize potential leaching of contaminants from the site.

Pipeline company urges rejection of many seeking intervener status in jurisdictional hearings

Those seeking to participate include District of Kitimat and Haisla Nation

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Many child killers have been placed in Indigenous healing lodges according to stats

As of mid-September, there were 11 offenders in healing lodges who had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder of a minor

Sex-misconduct survey excludes vulnerable military members: Survivors’ group

But It’s Just 700 says recent research has shown young military members and those on training are among those most at risk for sexual violence

Threat of extremism posed by proportional representation overstated: academics

As B.C. voters decide on electoral reform, the Vote No side is cautioning that the system would allow extremists to be elected

What now for Calgary, Canada and Olympic Games after 2026 rejection?

Calgary, along with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., made Canada a player in the international sport community

Expect no quick end to Canada-wide cannabis shortages, producers warn

Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta have all reported varying degrees of shortages

Want to buy your first home? Move to Kamloops or Prince George

Kamloops, Prince George, Campbell River and Langford are the only other markets in the study without gaps between required and actual income in owning a home.

Seniors in care homes may not get referendum ballots in the mail: Seniors Advocate

Voters list was established in May 2017, so if they moved into a care home since then….

Feds give $2 million for anti-extremism programs in B.C.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said supporting efforts locally is key to prevention

Most Read