David Black told the BC chamber of commerce that his company, Kitimat Clean Inc., is ready to sign a memorandum of understanding with Oppenheimer Investments Group of Switzerland to finance a new pipeline and oil refinery in Kitimat. The total investment in the project would be $25 billion. Of that, $16 billion would go to construction of the refinery.
The refinery, which would be the largest on the west coast, and one of the largest in the world, is intended as an alternative to plans by companies such as Enbridge to ship unrefined bitumen to Asia. Black says that it is preferable to add value to natural resources before exporting them, and his refinery will do that. It will process 550,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen from Alberta oil sands, according to Black’s speech, posted on his website. The refinery will be the first in the world to make use of a new technology developed by a Calgary company, he said. The process costs more, but reduces greenhouse emissions by 50 per cent per barrel, making this refinery the cleanest in the world, according to Black.
Black said that his company is making progress “on all fronts” and he expects most issues to be resolved within 60 days.
The government of BC has endorsed the proposed refinery. Premier Christy Clark praised the project for its job creation potential, but insisted that it must meet the five environmental and consultative conditions she has imposed on oil pipeline construction. She said that her government has been working with Black to secure a suitable site for the refinery.
The refinery could be operational by 2020.