| CALGARY, Alberta, June 10
CALGARY, Alberta, June 10 A Vancouver-based
company said on Tuesday it was planning to build a C$10 billion
oil refinery on the north-west coast of British Columbia that
could eventually process up to 1 million barrels per day of oil
Pacific Energy Future Corp, which was set up in January, is
looking at three potential building sites in Prince Rupert, BC.
The project is the second new refinery proposed for Canada's
west coast to process the large quantities of crude oil coming
out of Alberta's oil sands and export the refined products.
Pacific Energy Future Corp Executive Chairman Samer Salameh
said the refinery could be producing products such as gasoline
and diesel in about seven years.
The announcement comes a week before a federal government
decision on whether to approve Enbridge Inc plans to
build a 525,000 bpd pipeline from the oil sands to Kitimat, BC,
where crude would be loaded on to supertankers and shipped to
That project, known as Northern Gateway, has run into fierce
opposition from environmental and First Nations indigenous
groups who say the risk of a crude oil spill is too great.
"While we believe it's in Canada's national strategic
interest to gain access to international markets for Alberta's
oil, especially the fast growing Asian market, the company
believes it shouldn't be done at the sacrifice of BC's coast or
broader environment and must be done in full partnership with
First Nations," Pacific Energy Future Corp said in a statement.
The company is currently running a pre-feasibility study
that will take around 12 months and involve initial design work
and conversations with First Nations and provincial and federal
governments in preparation for starting a joint review process.
Salameh said he expected it would take roughly three years
to obtain permits to build the refinery.
Pacific Energy Future Corp has funding in place for the
first year and a half that will take it through to the start of
joint review process, and then will aim to raise more capital
from Canadian and international investors.
In its initial phase the refinery will process 200,000 bpd,
with eventual capacity of up to 1 million bpd planned.
Opponents of the Enbridge Northern Gateway plan said
refining oil sands crude before shipping it by tanker did not
eliminate environmental risks.
"The people of BC and over 130 First Nations have made their
stance very clear. They do not want tar sands in liquid or
refined form coming through their traditional territories
because of the risk to their communities and the environment,"
said Mike Hudema, an energy campaigner with Greenpeace.
Canadian newspaper mogul David Black is also pushing ahead
with a $27 billion plan to build a 550,000 bpd plant in Kitimat.
Salameh said he was not worried about Pacific Energy Future
Corp's refinery having to compete with Black's refinery for
"I will eat my hat if he gets his refinery built before us,"
(Editing by Andrew Hay)