INFOGRAPHIC of proposed oil refinery which would be built north of Kitimat illustrates developer’s proposal for what it calls a low C02 emitting facility. It is now subject to an environmental review.

Feds to review proposed northwestern B.C. oil refinery

Export terminal, however, not part of Pacific Future Energy plan

  • Oct. 27, 2016 1:00 p.m.

A SECOND proposed oil refinery for the Kitimat area is being sent to an independent review panel by the federal government.

The decision regarding the Pacific Future Energy Corporation project was announced by federal environment minister Catherine McKenna, “after considering its potential to cause significant adverse environmental effects and concerns expressed by the public and Indigenous groups in relation to those effects,” indicates a release by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Pacific Future envisions bringing in crude on three to four long trains a day from Alberta to the Dubose Flats area 32 kilometres north of Kitimat, refining up to 200,000 barrels a day into various products.

Project backers are calling it a green refinery, highlighting the burning of wood waste to produce the energy to power the refinery.

Up to 1,000 workers would be housed in the proximity of Dubose Flats at the peak of construction.

Exactly what environmental effects the project could cause as expressed during a public comment phase earlier this year have yet to be released by federal regulators.

Also unknown is how refined products would be sent to Asian customers with the company saying that kind of detail is up to the purchasers of the products.

But project backers foresee the construction of two pipelines running from Dubose Flats to an export terminal in the Portland Canal area on the coast north of Prince Rupert.

Spanning that distance would involve pipelines either crossing or running underneath the Skeena River.

Based on federal timetables, the review panel will be established within 90 days of the Oct. 7 decision to order the review.

The timeline for the review panel to submit its report is 16 months from the date of the establishment of the review panel and McKenna has five months after that to make a decision to approve or reject the project. The above timelines do not include the time Pacific Future takes to complete its work or gather information required for the assessment.

The Pacific Future review decision follows a similar one made in September for another planned oil refinery near Kitimat to be built by Kitimat Clean.

Crude would also be shipped to this proposed refinery by rail and it does involve a marine export terminal to load refined products on large tankers using the Douglas Channel as a route to the ocean.

In documents released about this project by federal regulators, various First Nations and government agencies pointed to the need for an environmental review.

One of the First Nations to do so is the Haisla near Kitimat which indicated the proposed Kitimat Clean project falls within its traditional territory.

The Haisla Nation has not yet fully considered the proposed project and potential impacts from the project with a view to identifying potential concerns,” wrote then-Haisla chief councillor Ellis Ross to federal environmental officials in May.

What is clear, however, is that the project will require the use of land to which the Haisla Nation has avery strong aboriginal title claim,” he continued.

This use will infringe the Haisla Nation’s right to proactively use and manage the land, to choose how the land is used, and the right to the future long-term economic benefit of the land.”

The Kitsumkalum First Nation also registered its worries, pointing out emissions and increased industrial activity among other items.

The assessment of this project needs to include the rail and road corridors that will carry the raw material to the site,” wrote a consultant hired by the Kitsumkalum to federal officials in May. “Train traffic has already increased during the past few years through Kitimat industries and the Prince Rupert Port expansions.”

The train tracks parallel the Skeena River and tributaries (and through Kitsumkalum territory) and then the Kitimat River system. It is critical that a risk assessment associated with the delivery of raw material via rail be conducted and that the scoping of the assessment and discussions about possible mitigation must involve Kitsumkalum at every stage,” the consultant wrote.






Just Posted

Highway 16 closed in both directions due to avalanche hazard

BC Highways is closing the highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace starting at 7 p.m.

Snowfall warning remains in effect

Public urged to postpone non-essential travel

Terrace to Hazelton bus service launched

First trip of BC Transit’s latest inter-community route set for Nov. 20

Snowfall warning issued for Terrace

Environment Canada expects up to 30cm by this evening

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read