Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Premier Comes Close to Endorsing $25 Billion Oil Refinery Plan

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Premier Comes Close to Endorsing $25 Billion Oil Refinery Plan

Article excerpt

B.C. Liberals close to backing oil refinery

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VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark has come close to offering her government's endorsement of a proposed $25-billion oil refinery development at Kitimat in northwest British Columbia.

Clark told the B.C. legislature Thursday the oil refinery proposal being put together by media mogul David Black nearly meets the province's five conditions for allowing heavy oil initiatives in the province.

"Our government wants to use every tool at our disposal to move the proposal forward where it can be judged on its merits by a robust, rigorous, and most importantly, independent environmental process from political influence," she said.

Clark didn't mention by name the Enbridge (TSX:ENB) Inc., Northern Gateway proposal to build a pipeline from northern Alberta to Kitimat to export Alberta oil to Asia on board supertankers.

She compared the Black proposal to her government's support of liquefied natural gas exports.

"Our government takes the view that we should work together to address legitimate environmental and safety concerns and find a way to get to 'Yes,' on projects that will grow our economy," she said.

Clark noted Black's proposal calls for 6,000 construction jobs and 3,000 full-time jobs once the project is complete. She said refining oil in B.C. keeps more money in the province and with Black driving the development, ensures the project is B.C.-owned.

Clark said the project would be the largest private sector investment in the province's history.

Black said Wednesday in Vancouver the Kitimat Clean Ltd. project would include an oil refinery to be built 25 kilometres north of Kitimat to process 550,000 barrels a day from Alberta's oil sands.

The projected capital cost of the refinery is $16 billion. The plan also includes a $6-billion oil pipeline and a $2-billion gas pipeline. It may also incorporate its own ocean-going tankers at a cost of $1 billion, Black said.

Black said he's on the verge of signing a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of investors, though he would not name the participants.

The owner of Black Press said he originally planned the refinery at the terminus of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, saying he hoped the plan would shift the debate about that project, which has sparked widespread criticism in B. …

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