Gas plant, pipe­line planned for B.C. Peace not all it seems, says West Coast Olefins CEO

The Prince George Citizen - - Front Page - Mark NIELSEN Cit­i­zen staff [email protected]­i­t­i­zen.ca — with files from Glacier Me­dia

They’re be­ing very eva­sive about say­ing they’re ac­tu­ally in­tend­ing to take those liq­uids to Tay­lor be­cause that’s where the pipe­lines are that take those liq­uids to Al­berta.

— Ken James

West Coast Olefins Ltd. CEO Ken James is fight­ing to pre­vent a gas plant and pipe­line En­bridge Inc. is propos­ing for the B.C. Peace from go­ing ahead, say­ing it threat­ens to siphon away jobs to Al­berta.

En­ridge has filed an ap­pli­ca­tion with the B.C. En­vi­ron­men­tal As­sess­ment Of­fice for its $2.5-bil­lion Fron­tier Project, which would see a nat­u­ral gas liq­uids ex­trac­tion plant con­structed near Chetwynd and then con­nected by pipe­line to Tay­lor. The liq­uids would then go to third party frac­tion­a­tion and rail load­ing fa­cil­i­ties for fur­ther pro­cess­ing and trans­porta­tion to mar­ket. It would pose di­rect com­pe­ti­tion with WCOL’s $5-bil­lion pro­posal for Prince Ge­orge, which would also rely on nat­u­ral gas from an En­bridge pipe­line for feed­stock. But in an in­ter­view on Mon­day, James said the Fron­tier Project should re­viewed by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s reg­u­la­tor as an in­ter­provin­cial project, if not stopped out­right.

“They’re be­ing very eva­sive about say­ing they’re ac­tu­ally in­tend­ing to take those liq­uids to Tay­lor be­cause that’s where the pipe­lines are that take those liq­uids to Al­berta,” James said of En­bridge’s sub­mis­sion to the EAO. “And they’re hid­ing the fact that B.C. has nat­u­ral gas liq­uids re­serves that ri­val those in Al­berta, but you don’t get any jobs out of them.”

He said WCOL lawyers are work­ing to con­vince the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s Cana­dian En­ergy Reg­u­la­tor, which re­placed the Na­tional En­ergy Board ef­fec­tive Aug. 28, to launch a re­view. James said local politi­cians are also rais­ing the is­sue.

“Un­less you know what you’re read­ing, it’s very interestin­g word­ing,” James said of En­bridge’s sub­mis­sion to the EAO. “They don’t talk any­thing about what prod­ucts they’re mak­ing and where they’re go­ing, which I find shock­ing that you can even en­ter the process with­out telling that.”

James has also been giv­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion – posted with this story at prince­ge­orgecit­i­zen.com – out­lin­ing his con­cerns about the sub­mis­sion and “to try and ed­u­cate peo­ple about what it says but what it re­ally means.”

En­bridge’s West Coast nat­u­ral gas pipe­line has been in place for 60 years, he noted, yet “no­body had any in­ter­est in do­ing any­thing un­til we started.”

“I be­lieve En­bridge is do­ing what it thinks is the eas­i­est for them, which is to work with the com­pa­nies they’re very rou­tinely used to work­ing” James said. “But at the end of the day, this is a B.C. re­source and they’d bet­ter get used to deal­ing with Bri­tish Columbia com­pa­nies.”

Ac­cord­ing to GMP FirstEn­ergy an­a­lyst Ian Gil­lies, if the plant is built in Chetwynd, it would be the first of its kind in B.C. whereas there are eight in Al­berta. It would have an ini­tial ca­pac­ity of 1.0-1.5 bil­lion cu­bic feet per day while the pipe­line would carry 100,000 bar­rels per day.

“This is an­other ex­am­ple of in­fra­struc­ture com­pa­nies try­ing to pro­vide so­lu­tions for nat­u­ral gas liq­uids in the WCSB and im­prove take­away ca­pac­ity for dry gas,” Gil­lies said in a re­search note. “We ex­pect the frac­tion­a­tion fa­cil­ity will be owned by a third party. Mo­saic the­ory would sug­gest that Pem­bina Pipe­line will be the provider as they have dis­cussed build­ing a frac­tion­a­tion fa­cil­ity in this re­gion.”

He said project de­sign is cur­rently in the con­cep­tual stage, with front end en­gi­neer­ing de­sign work ex­pected to be­gin the third quar­ter, for an ex­pected in-ser­vice date of win­ter 2024, Gil­lies said. The project is not yet se­cured, and En­bridge has not yet dis­cussed it with the an­a­lyst com­mu­nity, he added.

WCOL, mean­while, has sub­mit­ted a pre­lim­i­nary project de­scrip­tion to the EAO for a com­po­nent of the petro­chem­i­cal com­plex it is propos­ing for Prince Ge­orge, specif­i­cally an eth­yl­ene plant it wants to build at the BCR In­dus­trial Site.

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