Newspaper owner to put $27 billion Canada refinery plan to regulators

Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:09pm EST
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By Julie Gordon

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A Canadian newspaper mogul is pushing ahead with a $27 billion plan to build an oil refinery on Canada's west coast, hoping to file for regulatory approval before year-end and with construction targeted for 2016.

The 550,000-barrels-a-day plant would easily be Canada's biggest refinery, producing gasoline, jet fuel and diesel for Asian markets from the output of the country's rich oil sands.

David Black, president of Kitimat Clean Ltd, also told Reuters in an interview that he had launched informal talks with the federal government on loan guarantees for Chinese investors such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

"I've begun discussions with the federal government," Black said. "I haven't presented anything to them yet, but I've been very encouraged with their responses and it is in line with what the government has done many times before for projects that are vital to Canada's interests."

Black is better known as the founder of Black Press Ltd, a Canadian newspaper chain that owns more than 150 print and online papers, including the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Advocate in Red Deer, Alberta.

The newsman-turned-oil-investor said that he expects to file for regulatory approval soon.

"I hope this fall," he said. "We have the technology and the refinery approach nailed down, so I think I could do it this fall."

The environmental review is expected to take two years and construction will take six, putting start-up around 2022.   Continued...