Shawn A-In-Chut Atleo's latest appointment is as partnerships advisor for Pacific Future Energy.

B.C. oil refinery backers move ahead

Former national chiefs Shawn Atleo, Ovide Mercredi join third bid to build bitumen processing plant on B.C.'s North Coast

Backers of a third large oil refinery proposal for B.C.’s North Coast made some high-profile appointments Wednesday, naming former Assembly of First Nations national chiefs Shawn Atleo and Ovide Mercredi as advisors to their team.

Pacific Future Energy, proposing what it calls the world’s greenest refinery near Prince Rupert, announced the appointments Wednesday at a Vancouver Board of Trade event hosted by Stockwell Day, the former Conservative trade minister who has been the group’s public face since August.

Pacific Future’s proposal is similar to Kitimat Clean, a refinery bid launched in 2012 by David Black, chairman of Black Press. Both would be constructed from modules manufactured offshore to produce diesel, gasoline and other fuels for sale, avoiding the transport of heavy oil by tankers to reach export markets.

The third proposal is called Eagle Spirit Energy, headed by aboriginal author and lawyer Calvin Helin with financial backing from the Aquilini Group, the Vancouver family business that owns the Vancouver Canucks and extensive real estate and farm holdings.

Eagle Spirit is proposing a pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to an upgrader that would produce synthetic crude oil for export by tankers, likely from the Prince Rupert area.

Black announced last week that engineering firm Hatch Ltd. has completed a design and feasibility study for a refinery at an estimated cost of $22 billion, making it one of the 10 biggest in the world.

Black said in an interview he sees obvious similarities with the Pacific Future proposal, which describes new technology and carbon capture to reduce its environmental impact. Kitimat Clean proposes a new refining process that avoids production of petroleum coke, a coal-like byproduct of conventional heavy oil refining that is used as a high-carbon industrial fuel.

Black said his engineering report was prepared using proprietary and patented techniques, and won’t be made public. He said the entry of Pacific Future, headed by an executive of Mexican conglomerate Grupo Salinas, shows the business case for a B.C. refinery is sound and there is capacity for more than one plant.

All proposals for B.C. North Coast refining require oil transport to the coast, either by rail or some version of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project, which received a federal environmental certificate this year and awaits approval by the federal cabinet.

All proposals also face opposition transport of heavy oil. Pacific Future has appointed Atleo as a senior advisor for partnerships, months after he was appointed by Vancouver Island University as an advisor for dialogue between First Nations, government and industry.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Playgrounds across Chilliwack set to reopen Friday, June 5

Ensuring proper social distancing and sanitized hands will require extra vigilance

BREAKING: RCMP Emergency Response Team at known drug house in Chilliwack

Armed officers have house surrounded Wednesday before 9 a.m.

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

VIDEO: Learning begins with new indigenous name for Chilliwack school

Stito:s La:lam Toti:lt will open in September 2022 for students from K-8

VIDEO: Yarrow’s Corwin Drew in final four of Vancouver Whitecaps Academy skills competition

The soccer star is looking for community support to get him through the next round of online voting

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read