Newspaper chain owner proposes C$13 billion Canada refinery

Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:08pm EDT
 
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By Jeffrey Jones

CALGARY, Alberta (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 from Alberta.

Enbridge, however, had little to say about the ambitious pitch by David Black, owner of Black Press Ltd, as the pipeline company prepared for the start of the formal part of the Northern Gateway regulatory hearings next month.

Black said on Friday that the huge plant would process up to 550,000 barrels a day of crude at a site near Kitimat, British Columbia, the terminus of the proposed C$6 billion Northern Gateway. That would make it the biggest refinery in the country.

It would allow British Columbia to share more of the economic benefits of Northern Gateway by creating 3,000 full-time jobs and 6,000 construction jobs, said Black, who acknowledged he is no refining expert but has mulled such a proposal for seven years.

Black Press runs 150 newspapers in Canada and the United States, including the Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio; the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Advocate in Red Deer, Alberta.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark caused a stir last month by saying her government will not support the pipeline that would cross the mountainous province unless British Columbians can get more money to compensate for the environmental risk.

Besides offering economic benefits, Black said a refinery targeting Asian markets would remove any threat of a heavy crude spill on Canada's West Coast, a major worry among environmentalists and native groups opposed to Northern Gateway.

Enbridge declined to comment other than to say it remains committed to the regulatory process for reviewing Northern Gateway, which would move 525,000 barrels a day over the 1,177-km (731-mile) route.   Continued...

 
Newspaper publisher David Black holds jars of diluted bitumen while announcing a plan to potentially build a $13 billion dollar oil refinery in Kitimat, B.C in Vancouver, British Columbia August 17, 2012. REUTERS/Ben Nelms