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Newspaper chain owner proposes C$13 bln Canadian refinery
* 550,000 bpd plant would be built at Kitimat, BC
* David Black says would remove heavy crude spill threat
* Says could be financed by equity, debt
CALGARY, Alberta, Aug 17 (Reuters) - A British Columbia newspaper publisher is proposing a C$13 billion ($13.2 billion) refinery on Canada's West Coast to process all of the oil sands-derived crude that would flow through Enbridge Inc's contentious Northern Gateway pipeline.
David Black, owner of Black Press Ltd, said on Friday that the plant would process up to 550,000 barrels a day of crude at a site near Kitimat, British Columbia, the terminus of the proposed Northern Gateway line.
He told a media conference in Vancouver that construction could begin in 2014 and finish by 2020.
He said a refinery would remove any threat of a heavy crude spill on Canada's West Coast, which is a major worry among environmentalists and native groups opposed to Northern Gateway. It would also create 6,000 construction jobs.
Under the current plans for the C$6 billion Northern Gateway pipeline, tankers would take the diluted bitumen from an oil port at Kitimat and ship it to California and across the Pacific, diversifying markets for Canada's oil producers.
The last refinery built in Canada was Royal Dutch Shell's Scotford plant in Alberta in 1984.
Black's company runs 150 newspapers in Canada and the United States. His new company, Kitimat Clean Ltd, has briefed governments on the plan and will submit an environmental assessment application, he said.
Black said he has analyzed the proposal with investment bankers and concluded that projected revenues and profit would be large enough to enable equity and debt financing.
The petroleum products would be marketed throughout the Pacific Rim, with China being a main target, Black said in remarks posted on the company's website. The company would offer investment opportunities to Chinese buyers.
"If China is not interested there will be other buyers. A Kitimat refinery will be a compelling opportunity for any country that has to import oil," he said. "It will offer a guaranteed long-term refined fuel supply at a competitive price from a new diversified source."
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