Prince George due grassroots petrochemical complex

West Coast Olefins Ltd., Calgary, has taken the first steps toward development of a $5.6-billion (Can.) grassroots petrochemical complex to be built in Prince George, BC.

West Coast Olefins Ltd. (WCOL) of Calgary has taken the first steps toward development of a $5.6-billion (Can.) grassroots petrochemical complex to be built in Prince George, BC.

WCOL has now secured a 300-acre site in the BCR Industrial Area of Prince George in preparation for construction of the proposed petrochemical project, which would include both an ethylene and polyethylene (PE) plant for manufacturing of PE product for export to growing markets in Asia Pacific, the company said.

To be built within the territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, the overall project would include:

• An NGL recovery plant to recover ethane, propane, butane, and natural gas condensate from Enbridge Inc.’s Westcoast Pipeline.

• An ethylene plant to produce up to 1 million tonnes/year of polymer-grade ethylene.

• A PE plant to consume most of the ethylene produced.

• Associated off-site facilities and infrastructure.

190725 Wcol Prince George MapWest Coast Olefins Ltd.

Company officials said there also is a possibility plans could include construction of a monoethylene glycol plant on site to utilize the balance of produced ethylene.

“The Prince George facilities, using the latest available technologies and leveraging feedstock and transport advantages available in the city, will be the most competitive in North America,” said Ken James, WCOL’s president and chief executive officer.

According to WCOL’s web site, the proposed complex will be capable of recovering NGLs from up to 2.1 bcfd of pipeline gas as well as up to 5,500 cu m/day of NGL products such as propane, butane, and condensate that are currently sent for combustion.

The company said it is preparing to enter the formal regulatory approval process and is targeting a final investment decision by yearend 2020.

If approved—and following a “significant” public engagement and consultation process—the complex would require a 3-year construction period for a targeted full-commercial operation in 2023, WCOL said.

Environmental considerations

Aware of the local sensitivity to air shed concerns in the “bowl area” of Prince George—especially particulate matter and odor issues—WCOL said the plant would use a low-carbon, clean-burning mixture of methane and hydrogen as its main fuel source for fired equipment that has no soot or odor and minimizes GHG emissions.

“We believe that this makes a strong case for how this project fits with the provincial climate action plan. For the past year, [WCOL] representatives have been researching Prince George, and meeting with Prince George-area contractors to investigate local capabilities to ensure that the company maximizes its use of local labor and associated construction and fabrication infrastructure,” the company said.

Officials have also had several meetings with First Nations, local leaders, and construction companies over the past 6 months, WCOL said.

“I would like to thank [WCOL] for recognizing the fantastic business and industrial opportunities available in our city and that Prince George is a supply and service hub for all of northern BC at the confluence of rivers, roads, and rails as well as an official Foreign Trade Zone. Council looks forward to the appropriate and necessary environmental and regulatory processes and consultations occurring with local, provincial, and First Nations stakeholders over the next few years,” said Lyn Hall, mayor of Prince George.

WCOL said it also will be working closely with Lheidli T’enneh Nation Chief Clay Pountney and his council on the project, on which early discussions seemingly are progressing.

“Lheidli T’enneh Nation looks forward to potentially partnering with [WCOL] to ensure that if the project is approved [it] will provide significant economic benefits to Lheidli T’enneh and our members and is designed and built in a way that is aligned with our values,” Pountney said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@endeavorb2b.com.

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