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Open house today on proposed Prince George petrochemical project

West Coast Olefins has secured a 300-acre site in the B.C. industrial area
West Coast Olefins CEO Ken James at the announcement. (via Hanna Petersen)

If you're looking for more information on the proposed $5.6 billion petrochemical project in Prince George, information is available today (Aug. 7). 

The company says they will present more details regarding Natural Gas Liquids Recovery and Ethylene Plant project at two open houses, one from 3 to 5 p.m. and the other from 6 to 8 p.m.

"The Open House will provide an opportunity for everyone in the community to come out and hear more details about the proposed project and ask questions to members of our team, and for West Coast Olefins to hear concerns from the community and levels of support for the project," the company says. 

The open houses will be at the Uda Dune Baiyoh Hall (House of Ancestors) at 355 Vancouver St. 

Formal presentations will take place at 3 and 6 p.m. while project team members will be available during the above times listed. 

An informal Q&A will be held after the formal presentations. 

The project was originally announced on July 24.

“This will be the biggest project the city has ever seen,” West Coast Olefins president and CEO Ken James said at the announcement. 

Once fully operational, the project is expected to create up to 1,000 permanent highly skilled jobs. Workers will be required to support the construction effort over a three-year period. 

James added about 6,000 indirect jobs could potentially be created in the region. The project itself would include a world-scale ethylene plant and polyethylene facility.

West Coast Olefins is preparing to enter the formal regulatory approval process and is targeting a final investment decision by the end of 2020, followed by a three-year construction period to bring the facilities into full commercial operation. This will include a significant public engagement and consultation process.

“I’m over 50 per cent confident that this is going to go which may seem pessimistic in the world of projects where 1-in-20 go - I’m very confident,” James said. “The level of support we’ve got across the province at all levels, I’ve never seen.”

If the company is able to get the regulations needed, it plans to begin site construction in Spring 2021 until Summer 2023.

The commercial operation date is set for the end of 2023.

“It’s big news. This is a game-changer for this community,” Mayor Lyn Hall added. “We know there’s still a tremendous amount of work to do over the next year. You’ve seen the timelines and the milestones Ken has put up, but what really adds to the diversification of this community through this project is employment opportunities.”

The overall project will include: 

  • An NGL Recovery Plant to recover ethane, propane, butane, and natural gas condensate from Enbridge’s West Coast Pipelines
  • An Ethylene Plant to produce one million tonnes per year of polymer-grade ethylene
  • A Polyethylene Plant to consume most of the ethylene produced
  • Associate off-site facilities and infrastructure
  • The company officials also say there is a possibility of a mono-ethylene glycol plant being constructed on-site to utilize the balance of ethylene produced

- with files from Hanna Petersen, PrinceGeorgeMatters