Black seeks government support now that he has feasibility plan in hand

David Black wants debt guarantees from the government which will help him get lenders on board for his proposed oil refinery.

With a design and feasibility study in tow, David Black now needs to secure government support to make further in-roads in his plan to build an oil refinery in the Kitimat—Terrace area.

Black announced December 4 that Hatch Ltd. had completed the study for him, which sets out how the proposed refinery would process 550,000 barrels of diluted bitumen a day in to 460,000 barrels of day of refined fuel — gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

In a press release, Black said that lenders are willing to put up money for the refinery but are insisting on “skin-in-the-game” from the government.

Black has been seeking debt guarantees from the federal government, and said he is offering compensation to the federal and provincial governments to obtain them.

Black told the Sentinel he was not ready to go in to further detail at the moment on what “compensation” looks like in this context, although he did say “it’s substantial.”

That said, he says he does have conditional support for debt guarantees from the federal Minister of Finance Joe Oliver.

Reached for comment to confirm, the Department of Finance says they do not comment or speculate on possible actions.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, who is also the finance critic, said he’s spoken to people on the issue and said that the reception he’s seen has been lukewarm.

“The loan guarantees did not seem to be something they were enthusiastic about,” he said.

Cullen said Black has struggled in getting Canadian backers, from the supply side to the financial side, and it would never get built if he can’t get producers on board.

That said the question of value-added remains important, he said, and the public could be more inclined to pipelines if benefit came back to the people.

Black admits that finances are where he has to put his efforts at the moment.

“I really think I have to tie down more money here,” he said. “I’ve got to focus on who’s going to provide the money.”

He said with this study now done, he really needs the government “to tell me whether they’re coming to the party or not.”

With an estimated 3,000 person workforce for the refinery, Black said Hatch’s report puts directly-employed jobs at up to 1,500, while another 1,500 would work at the refinery on a contract basis.

He cites potential for up to 3,000 other jobs with possible petrochemical plants that could open up in conjunction with the refinery. He points out that large volumes of sulphur extracted during the refining process could be used to supply a fertilizer plant, for instance.

He said he didn’t know exactly what the particular emissions estimates would be but that carbon dioxide emissions would be about one-third of a normal heavy oil refinery, and would be about 10 million tonnes per year.

Black said it has been awhile since he has spoken with the Haisla or Kitselas about the project, who he specifically names as governments he’ll have to work out economic benefit deals with, but he said he has felt positive based on early conversations with them.

Absent from his December 4 release was talk about how he’d get product to his refinery and he said he hasn’t focused on that question recently, but is still hoping for a pipeline, but has not ruled out rail.

“CN wants to do it, that’s for sure,” he said.

Black is the Chairman of Black Press, which owns, among others, this newspaper.

 

Just Posted

An example of what a mural would look like on the back wall on Ron’s Bait and Tackle Store which faces the courtyard and sidewall. The mural photos shown here are mock-ups of existing artwork on walls of interest in the downtown core to build anticipation within the community about the concept of murals. The KPAA will not necessarily be using these locations or this artwork for the actual murals. (KPAA photo)
Kitimat Public Art Alliance mural funding request denied

D’Andrea suggested she will come back to the council at a later date with a more concrete plan

L-R: Vanessa Cuoto, Montana Murray, Connor Best, Dawn Best, Natalia Lopez, Thomas Walton, and Charlotte Collier partaking in the clean-up Kitimat campaign on May 28. (Katie Peacock photo)
Kitimat’s MStar Hotel brings out staff’s competitive clean-up side

The hotel staff circulated the Big Spruce Trailhead and picked up as much garbage as they could

Kitimat’s Water Quality Advisory, which has been in place for just over a week, has been lifted. (Black Press file photo)
Water Quality Advisory in Kitimat lifted

The district has been under a Water Quality Advisory since June 2

On June 16 at 6 p.m., the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a public presentation and discussion with Happipad, a social enterprise, to talk about solutions for affordable housing Kitimat. (Happipad photo)
Affordable housing to be focus of Kitimat Chamber of Commerce meeting

Figures indicate the average Kitimat household needs to make more than $92,000 a year

(District of Kitimat logo)
Hirsch Creek Bridge restricted to single lane traffic

The district is restricting the bridge traffic to legal highway loads only

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read