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REPORTING · 14th May 2014
Walter McFarlane
David Black was in Kitimat on Monday, May 5th and Tuesday, May 6th to present to the community on his Kitimat Clean Proposal. Both events were well attended by the public who came out to listen to what he had to say.

“We’re talking about putting in a refinery, together with a safe pipeline to that refinery from Alberta and a safe tanker fleet to take the refined fuels away. In total, those three elements are 32 billion dollars,” said Black.

He explained there are two reasons why he is doing this. The first is the refinery would create a value added product, creating about 3000 high paying permanent jobs in the process. A refinery will create more jobs around it as factories which work with the chemicals come on steam. It will also create taxes which will go out to all levels of government. The refinery is expected to have a 10% profit margin.

Black said he was not in it for the money and he did not want his name associated with the leaks.

The second is to help the environment. Black said he does not want to see diluted bitumen in tankers traversing the coast. Bitumen sinks and there are a number of studies which show this. He expressed most of the accidents are caused by human beings, not technology. Refined fuel floats and it evaporates. Black said he plans to include green features on his refinery.

“This refinery’s going to get built, either here or over in Asia, because there is a demand over there for more and more and more fuel. If we’re being at all pragmatic about the environment, we should build it here and put out half the CO2 and put scrubbers and all other kinds of pollution control which are simply not put in place over in Asia. We all live on one planet, it’s just better for the planet to do it here,” said Black.

The refinery will generate power and use 400 megawatts. He said the refinery will recycle its water. There will be air emissions but they will do their best to meet what limits the government sets.

The refinery will require a pipeline. Black explained both nights that he has done a lot of research on this. “Modern Pipelines are safe. They are not leaking and all of us can go on the internet and check that out because in Canada and the US, all the pipeline companies have to post all their leaks and the countries post them on the web,” said Black.

He expressed that pipelines are being built with better technology, they’re being coated well and they do not have as much rust. There are robots involved in the laying of the pipe. The pipe is X-Rayed to make sure there are no pin-hole leaks. Pipelines are expected to last much longer. Finally, Black said he would put a fiber-optic line under the pipeline so they can see if there is any oil leaking out.

Black explained that all major refineries were built on the coast so larger components can be prefabricated and shipped in. This makes the construction more cost effective and less time consuming. It would cost 10 billion dollars more to build one in Alberta than it would in Kitimat.

To get the parts from the harbour to the site, he plans to upgrade the west side road up the valley. He would need to straighten the road, build bridges across the Wedeen Rivers.

A second issue is the need for several pipelines to deliver the minimum of 6 products to market. If the refinery was built in Kitimat, those pipelines could be shorter and dedicated to each product. At the open house, he explained to one person that there is no heavy oil refinery in Canada, so the oil from the Bituminous Sands cannot currently be refined in Canada.

One problem Black has encountered is the business people. He expressed that while they admit his plan is sound, many of them do not want a refinery and are not interested in nation building for Canada. Their parent companies are outside Canada and they just want to, as expressed by an Albertan Union leader, ‘Rip it and Ship it.’ However, they are all owned by parent companies in other nations. Black explained these oil companies have turned the Federal Government away from his project but it’s receiving provincial support.

Black is talking to the Chinese and they have promised him all the money to build it, because they want Canada’s oil. He hopes to start a feasibility study soon. If everything is successful, he hopes to be shipping refined fuels in 10 years.

Black expressed he has talked to first nations about his project and he has not received a lot of ‘no’ but he also has not received a lot of ‘yes’ either. He told Council he has some support in first nations communities along the coast because he plans on shipping a refined product.

He explained the oil would have to come by pipeline, because if it did not, it would come by rail. If the oil comes by rail, there would be little taxation and it would be more dangerous. Black argued modern pipelines are safe.

Black stated he wants to create a lot of jobs for people from BC who are currently working in Fort Mackenzie.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know if he had started a federal review process or signed contracts with the suppliers and if he was committed to go through the multi-year review.

Black said not yet, but he’s been putting a lot of money into the engineering to make sure they have the process they want to pursue. In the following week, he would be looking at the contract for the design and feasibility study and will receive a costing. He told Council the Chinese are willing to put up half the money for the feasibility study if the Federal Government helps. However, they haven’t so he is going to put up the money.
Refine in Alberta
Comment by Vern on 16th May 2014
If they could refine it in Alberta and the pipeline carried light refined oil I would be fine with a terminal here. It is hard to slam the oil industry when everyone consumes the product.
the three
Comment by H.J.Sanou on 16th May 2014
well Roma,
At least it's nice to see him back in men's clothing.
the three amigos
Comment by roma on 15th May 2014
Hans if you don't like the way I dress my husband call me.
Thought I saw you in WalMart that same day!!
Lets do this!
Comment by Roguemc on 15th May 2014
If we can refine the oil before shipping it off and create 3000 permanent jobs with spinoff companies as well, the benifits now surpass the risks! Lets do this. There will always be people that will claim David Black wouldnt be doing this if there wasnt anything in it for him, well I dont know about that, we shouldnt be so cynical. The man is wealthy enough, perhaps he is just giving back. If David Black meets with any opposition to this project, its only going to be from people that are retired or close to it, who knows what wrongs these ones committed in the past earning their living here in BC and Alberta. Our beautiful forests were logged by somebody that likely dropped their dirty oil countless times into the soil of our forests changing the oil on their heavy equipment. Huge discharges from Alcan, eurocan into the rivers, oceans, and air done by companies that cut their cheques. Depleting our fisheries, to name some. I'm not saying thats right, just that we all need to provide for our own and the procedures in place are far cleaner/ safer than in the past and getting better.
the three amigos
Comment by H.J.Sanou on 14th May 2014
There must have been a three for one sale at Wal-Mart by the looks of it or is it the new uniform of Black's enterprise?

What do they not understand about NO pipeline ?
Apparently not much, pie in the sky having a refinery at Kitimat. Again put the damn thing in Alberta, refine their garbage oil at source and leave us alone.

And there is the mayor, after a plebishite (pun intended) she stands there in all her majestic splendor not realizing she is contravening the people's wishes. Hopefully that'll be corrected in the fall.
We need new blood on the council rather than the same old tired know nothings we have now, except in my opinion Scott and Germuth.
Rivers at risk
Comment by trin7 on 14th May 2014
Black stated "Bitumen sinks and there are a number of studies which show this. He expressed most of the accidents are caused by human beings, not technology." So putting the risk of a bitumen spill in the Salmon bearing rivers, creeks and streams is okay? Don't forget he still wants to have oil tankers in our Channel. Doesn't make any sense!