Canada newspaper owner proposes $13bn refinery


The owner of a British Columbia newspaper chain has proposed spending 13 billion Canadian dollars ($13.1 billion) to build an oil refinery on Canada's west coast that would refine crude from oil sands before shipment to Asia.

David Black, owner of the British Columbia community newspaper chain Black Press Ltd., said this weekend that the refinery built near Kitimat, British Columbia, would process crude oil from Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline into refined products, including gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel.

“The refinery will be state of the art and designed specifically for processing Alberta oil sands heavy crude oil,” Black said in a statement on the website for the new refining company, called Kitimat Clean Ltd. “We want it to be the cleanest and greenest upgrading and refining site in the world.”

Black said that the refinery would reduce the risk from tanker spills on the west coast, because refined petroleum products evaporate and aren't as hard to clean up as unrefined crude oil.

The refinery would create 6,000 construction jobs over five years and 3,000 permanent refinery jobs, he said.

The refinery would be able to process 550,000 bpd of oil and could be built by 2020. Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline is designed to transport 525,000 bpd and could be completed by 2017.

Black said he has been in contact with government officials and believes they would support the project.

He also said that he believes the public would be more supportive of the Enbridge pipeline if a refinery were built to both help British Columbia's economy and reduce the spill risk.

However, Black said some oil sands producers have said they are not in favor of a refinery and would prefer to export unrefined heavy crude.

Dow Jones Newswires

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