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June 2014

Global News – $10 billion bitumen refinery announced for north coast

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 Global News

A Vancouver-based company with international backing is planning to build a $10 billion bitumen refinery project near Prince Rupert.

Pacific Future Energy says the new refinery will be “the world’s greenest” and will be built in full partnership with First Nations.

The company has already identified three sites, all in the Prince Rupert area, as potential locations for the refinery, which will process oil from northern Alberta. A feasibility study, which is currently underway, will determine the exact location of the refinery.

“We believe this is an incredibly unique opportunity to build the greenest refinery in the world and there’s no better place than BC,” said Samer Salameh, Executive Chairman of Pacific Future Energy in a statement. “Our pre-feasibility study has begun, which will analyze the economic, social and environmental aspects of the refinery and help to determine the prospective site and expect to launch our feasibility and regulatory process in the next 9-12 months.”

Shipping refined products as opposed to heavy oil will be much safer, according to Salameh.

“By shipping refined products, we will eliminate the threat of a heavy oil spill.”

In case of a spill, these products float on top of water and evaporate, according to Pacific Future Energy. Bitumen sinks in water, and is much harder to clean up.

The refinery is designed to be built in stages, with each “module” processing 200,000 barrels of bitumen per day. The bitumen will be converted into gasoline, diesel, and kerosene.

Once the project is fully up and running, it will be capable of producing up to 1 million barrels a day.

Pacific Future Energy says the project is viable regardless of the current market price of oil, because of its ability to produce a wide range of fuels.

The federal government’s decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is expected sometime this week.

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Reuters – $10 billion oil sands crude refinery planned for Canada’s Pacific coast

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By Nia Williams

(Reuters) – A Vancouver-based company said on Tuesday it was planning to build a C$10 billion oil refinery on the north-west coast of British Columbia that could eventually process up to 1 million barrels per day of oil sands bitumen.

Pacific Energy Future Corp, which was set up in January, is looking at three potential building sites in Prince Rupert, BC.

The project is the second new refinery proposed for Canada’s west coast to process the large quantities of crude oil coming out of Alberta’s oil sands and export the refined products.

Pacific Energy Future Corp Executive Chairman Samer Salameh said the refinery could be producing products such as gasoline and diesel in about seven years.

The announcement comes a week before a federal government decision on whether to approve Enbridge Inc plans to build a 525,000 bpd pipeline from the oil sands to Kitimat, BC, where crude would be loaded on to supertankers and shipped to international markets.

That project, known as Northern Gateway, has run into fierce opposition from environmental and First Nations indigenous groups who say the risk of a crude oil spill is too great.

“While we believe it’s in Canada’s national strategic interest to gain access to international markets for Alberta’s oil, especially the fast growing Asian market, the company believes it shouldn’t be done at the sacrifice of BC’s coast or broader environment and must be done in full partnership with First Nations,” Pacific Energy Future Corp said in a statement.

The company is currently running a pre-feasibility study that will take around 12 months and involve initial design work and conversations with First Nations and provincial and federal governments in preparation for starting a joint review process.

Salameh said he expected it would take roughly three years to obtain permits to build the refinery.

Pacific Energy Future Corp has funding in place for the first year and a half that will take it through to the start of joint review process, and then will aim to raise more capital from Canadian and international investors.

In its initial phase the refinery will process 200,000 bpd, with eventual capacity of up to 1 million bpd planned.

Opponents of the Enbridge Northern Gateway plan said refining oil sands crude before shipping it by tanker did not eliminate environmental risks.

“The people of BC and over 130 First Nations have made their stance very clear. They do not want tar sands in liquid or refined form coming through their traditional territories because of the risk to their communities and the environment,” said Mike Hudema, an energy campaigner with Greenpeace.

Canadian newspaper mogul David Black is also pushing ahead with a $27 billion plan to build a 550,000 bpd plant in Kitimat.

Salameh said he was not worried about Pacific Energy Future Corp’s refinery having to compete with Black’s refinery for crude feedstock.

“I will eat my hat if he gets his refinery built before us,” he said. (Editing by Andrew Hay)

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Calgary Herald – ‘World’s greenest’ refinery pitched to process oilsands crude on B.C. coast – Calgary Herald

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CALGARY – A Vancouver company is pitching a $10-billion oilsands refinery on British Columbia’s north coast that aims to connect Alberta’s vast energy resources with Asian markets, while avoiding some of the pitfalls others have encountered.

Pacific Future Energy Corp. says the refinery would be the “world’s greenest” and built in full partnership with B.C. First Nations, many of whom are vehemently opposed to proposals to ship crude to the West Coast for export.

Any day now, Ottawa is expected to decide on one of those proposals: Enbridge Inc.’s (TSX:ENB) controversial Northern Gateway pipeline. One of the biggest concerns with that project is the fact that huge tankers full of diluted oilsands bitumen, or dilbit, would have to navigate the rough waters of the Douglas Channel on their way out into the Pacific.

The Pacific Future proposal — and another one being floated by B.C. newspaper magnate David Black — would mean refined products, rather than heavy oil, would be shipped on tankers to Asia, making a potential spill much less environmentally damaging.

“I think everybody knows that it’s in Canada’s strategic national interest to increase and diversify oil production into Asia,” Pacific Future executive chairman Samer Salameh said in an interview.

“But I think everybody in their heart knows that shipping this dilbit is not the answer.”

A dilbit spill from a supertanker off the B.C. coast would make the Exxon Valdez disaster look like a “joke,” he said.

“We think it’s horrible to be shipping bitumen out of B.C. waters. We think that’s not the right thing to do by the environment, it’s not the right thing to do by First Nations and it’s not the right thing to do by the B.C. people. This is a solution to everybody’s problem.”

The Pacific Future leadership team includes venture capitalists and former provincial and federal government advisers. Salameh has experience financing and building telecommunications infrastructure for Mexican conglomerate Groupo Salinas.

The company aims to include First Nations in the process from the get-go. One of Salameh’s first hires for the management team was Jeffrey Copenace, who was deputy chief of staff to former Assembly of First Nations chief Shawn Atleo and has worked with the Ontario and federal government on aboriginal issues.

“We hope to have learned from others’ mistakes and we started this thing right,” said Salameh. “We absolutely are convinced we cannot do this project without the full participation of the First Nations.”

Pacific Future plans to build a “near zero net carbon” refinery that will reuse waste products and prevent harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere.

The company says the refinery will be built in 200,000-barrel-per-day modules, with the ability to expand to a total of one million barrels per day.

Within six months, it expects to pick a location for the plant. It’s weighing one site near Kitimat and two further north near Prince Rupert. Safety concerns are causing Pacific Future to lean toward the latter, as it’s a shorter journey out to the open Pacific from there.

The company hopes a pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast will be built by the time the refinery is built seven to nine years from now. But because the refinery can be expanded in increments, rail can be used to feed a smaller-scale facility in the beginning, Salameh said.

The Pacific Future plan is based on a similar premise to Black’s $32-billion Kitimat Clean Ltd. proposal, which would involve a refinery, oil pipeline, natural gas pipeline and tanker fleet. Kitimat Clean is asking Ottawa for a loan guarantee covering about a third of that amount.

Salameh said he’s not concerned about competing with Kitimat Clean.

“David is a wonderful person and has been talking about this for a while. We are acting,” he said.

“I will absolutely tell you there’s no one as far ahead in the process as we are.”

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News 1130 – Pacific Future Energy proposes BC refinery, claims it will be “greenest” in the world

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VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – There is another proposal for a refinery in BC to process heavy oil from Alberta, but details are few.

Pacific Future Energy describes itself as a company created to build what it predicts will be a $10-billion bitumen refinery on the North Coast.

Chairman Samer Salameh says he has more than two decades of experience with large infrastructure projects and the number does not matter as much as the financial model of the project.

“Whether it’s $10 billion, $15 billion or $5 billion, that’s not really the issue for me. It is ‘Do you have the cash flow to pay back the investors?’ In this particular case, this is a very healthy project.”

Salameh, an executive with Mexico’s Grupo Salinas, says there is funding in place to go through site selection, talks with First Nations, and initial conversations with the federal and provincial governments. He says the process would take about a year and a half.

The company says it will be the “greenest” refinery in the world, powered by natural gas and renewable energy to reduce emissions by 40 per cent. It says the refinery would start by processing 200,000 barrels of bitumen a day, eventually expanding to one million.

Salameh has a background in telecom and other infrastructure projects. He was in Vancouver a few months ago and found no credible solutions to the issues of exporting oil to Asia.

“There’s such a demand for the refinery to be built here in BC to solve many problems, both in terms of production, needs for an output for the oil out of Alberta to the Asian markets.”

An earlier proposal for a $25 billion refinery and pipeline project is still trying to drum up support. It’s the idea of BC newspaper magnate David Black.

B.C. group pitches $10-billion ‘environmentally responsible’ refinery – The Globe And Mail

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A British Columbia-based consortium is proposing a $10-billion refinery for Canada’s West Coast, the second such plan aimed at winning support for processing and exporting petroleum products manufactured from the oil sands.

A group called Pacific Future Energy said it wants to build a massive plant in the Prince Rupert, B.C., area that could eventually process one million barrels a day, constructed in 200,000 barrel-a-day modules.

The aim is to develop a “near-net-zero” bitumen refinery using an environmentally friendly design powered by natural gas and renewables and employing carbon-capture technology. The group said it will concentrate on seeking support and partnership from First Nations.

The backers say it will create an estimated 3,000 permanent jobs.

The proposal comes days before an expected federal approval of Enbridge Inc.’s $7.9-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline to Kitimat, B.C., from Alberta. The contentious project faces staunch opposition from aboriginal groups in British Columbia as well as environmentalists. Some First Nations have promised legal action aimed at stopping the project, should it be approved.

Pacific Future Energy’s idea is the second West Coast refinery proposal following a $26-billion plan floated by newspaper publisher David Black. Last year, Mr. Black said he was seeking billions of dollars in loan guarantees from Ottawa as a way to advance the project, which would be located in Kitimat, the terminus of Northern Gateway.

Both refinery proposals seek to address fear among B.C. residents that a spill of raw bitumen from a tanker in coastal waters could cause severe damage to the environment that would last for years. A spill of products such as gasoline or diesel would be much easier to clean up, they say.

However, each faces an uphill battle moving forward, given the high costs of labour and materials, lack of experience building major energy projects, uncertain markets for refined products versus raw bitumen, major financing requirements and, so far, little buy-in from the oil patch.

“Canada needs to diversify its markets for oil. And the biggest market for oil is Asia. Other proposals exist but Pacific Future Energy is putting an environmentally responsible option on the table,” the group said in a statement. “Other options restrict growth or ship dangerous bitumen along our coast – a national treasure. Pacific Future Energy’s proposal ensures that the bitumen will be refined using state-of-the-art technology that complies with Canada’s stringent environmental assessment and air quality regulations.”

Pacific Futures is led by Chairman Samer Salameh, who manages telecom and business development for Grupo Salinas, a multibillion-dollar Mexican conglomerate. Other members of the management group include CEO Robert Delamar, who has worked in the technology and venture capital sectors; Jamie Carroll, a government and regulatory affairs specialist; and Vice-President of Indigenous Partnership Jeffrey Copenace, who worked as deputy chief of staff to former Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo.

Another notable participant is Vice-President Communications and Research Mark Marissen, a longtime Liberal party strategist and public consultation specialist who is also ex-husband of B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

The group said it had secured funding international partners, but did not name them. It said it had begun a pre-feasibility study as well as consultations with First Nations communities.

View article on The Globe and Mail

Pacific Future Energy Corp. Announces $10-Billion Bitumen Refinery Project for B.C. North Coast

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Company will build the world’s greenest refinery, a near zero net carbon (NZNC) emission refinery for exporting processed Northern Alberta oil

Vancouver (June 10, 2014) – Pacific Future Energy Corporation (Pacific Future Energy) announced today its plan to build and operate the world’s greenest refinery on British Columbia’s north coast. While we believe it’s in Canada’s national strategic interest to gain access to international markets for Alberta’s oil, especially the fast growing Asian market, the company believes it shouldn’t be done at the sacrifice of BC’s coast or broader environment and must be done in full partnership with First Nations.

“We believe this is an incredibly unique opportunity to build the greenest refinery in the world and there’s no better place than BC,” said Samer Salameh, Executive Chairman of Pacific Future Energy. “Our pre-feasibility study has begun, which will analyze the economic, social and environmental aspects of the refinery and help to determine the prospective site and expect to launch our feasibility and regulatory process in the next 9-12 months.”

The Pacific Future Energy refinery in BC will create thousands of long term jobs and economic stability at home by expanding Canada’s oil market access.

“The combination of our strong management team, economically sound and environmentally superior refinery and access to international markets has made this very appealing to investors in the initial stage.” Salameh said. “By shipping refined products, we will eliminate the threat of a heavy oil spill. By building a refinery, based on NZNC emissions standards, we will reduce the emissions that contribute to global climate change.”

The $10 billion refinery is being designed to be built in modules, each processing 200,000 barrels of bitumen per day, ensuring it is scalable and flexible. The bitumen will be converted into gasoline, diesel, kerosene and other distillates. When all of the project modules are complete, the facility will process up to 1,000,000 barrels per day, starting with the first phase of 200,000 barrels per day.

“From the very beginning, and every step of the way, our partnership with First Nations will ensure that we all benefit from traditional and ecological knowledge, while respecting their rights to full consultation and accommodation—all with the goal of shared prosperity and health for future generations,” added Jeffrey Copenace, Vice President, Indigenous Partnership.

About Pacific Future Energy

Vancouver-based Pacific Future Energy is a company that has been developed to finance, design and construct the world’s greenest oil refinery in British Columbia, Canada. The management team consists of leaders from the venture capital, corporate and government sectors, who share the belief that while it’s in Canada’s national strategic interest to diversify its markets for oil, it should be done in a socially and environmentally responsible manner and while ensuring the protection of Canada’s west coast.

For additional information, please contact:

Alexandra Pecoskie
Citizen Relations on Behalf of Pacific Future Energy
604-669-2727
alexandra.pecoskie@citizenrelations.com

Backgrounder: Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Pacific Future Energy?

Pacific Future Energy is a Vancouver-based company that has been developed to finance, design and construct the world’s greenest oil refinery in British Columbia, Canada.

The management team consists of leaders from the venture capital, corporate and government sectors, who share the belief that while it’s in Canada’s national strategic interest to diversity its markets for oil, it should be done in a socially and environmentally responsible manner and while ensuring the protection of Canada’s west coast.

Why is Near Net Zero Technology so important?

Pacific Future Energy is breaking new ground and employing technology in a way that has never been done before.

The challenge in building a near zero net carbon refinery is not a technical one. The technology exists. It is a commercial issue. To date, no refinery in the world has been willing to invest the additional capital required to build a refinery to this standard.

Pacific Future Energy is committed to using the technologies available to build the greenest refinery in the world to protect BC’s coast and broader environment.

How will this project impact the various pipeline proposals that are being considered by all levels of government?

The federal government’s decision on the Northern Gateway Project is expected shortly. At the same time, the Government of British Columbia has placed five conditions on its support for any kind of new pipeline that would be built in the province, which includes proper consultation with First Nations, protection of the coast, and regional economic benefits for British Columbia.

Pacific Future Energy is committed to building the greenest refinery ever built, in full partnership with First Nations right from the start, and every step in the process, creating jobs and economic stability at home and delivering on the federal government’s commitment to diversifying Canada’s oil industry.

Why are shipping refined products better than shipping bitumen?

Raw bitumen is extracted from Canada’s oil sands and is primarily transported for export via a pipeline. If a pipeline through BC was approved without a refinery, it would put the coast at risk, sending tens of thousands of tankers carrying heavy bitumen through our cherished coastline.

Bitumen, a raw product from the oil sands, is thick and heavy. In a spill, the bitumen immediately sinks to the ocean floor and stays there.

Pacific Future Energy’s refinery would turn this bitumen into refined products like diesel and gasoline. In the case of a spill, these products float on top of the water and evaporate.

We want to build the greenest refinery every built, right here in BC. This is a unique opportunity to turn Alberta’s raw bitumen into high value refined products for the fastest growing oil markets in the world, but it won’t be done at any cost to our coast or the broader environment.

What will be the economic benefits of this project?

Our refinery in BC will create thousands of jobs and economic stability at home by expanding Canada’s market access. Unlike other refineries in Canada and the US, Pacific Future Energy’s refinery is being built to manage all raw inputs and have the flexibility to manage its outputs based on the market supply and demand, making it viable regardless of the oil market, without costly refurbishment or upgrading.

The refinery is being designed to be built in modules, ensuring it is scalable, meaning it’s more flexible than any other Canadian or international refineries. In fact, our first phase will be operational at 200,000 bbpd even without a completed pipeline.

Where will the refinery be located?

We have identified three options in the general Prince Rupert area. A final decision on the site will be determined, in collaboration with local First Nations, first, by considering which site will best minimize the environmental impacts of the development; second, by considering the market conditions of the site.

Who is behind this project?

The majority of the management team is Canadian; however, like any world-class project, $10-billion is too large for Canadian capital markets to fund alone and so we have secured funding from international partners.

As the project moves forward, we expect a number of both public and private investors to become involved; however all investment will comply with Canadian law, including the Investment Canada Act.

What is your timeline?

The pre-feasibility study of the refinery is already underway and is expected to conclude in the next 6 months, followed by the feasibility study, examining the economic, environmental and social impacts of the project.

The outputs of the feasibility studies will provide a detailed analysis of the project and its viability, which will facilitate the full regulatory process with multiple levels of government, including a fulsome environmental assessment according to both the federal and provincial governments.

From the start, we are also consulting First Nations communities. These consultations will continue throughout the process.

Does the price of oil impact the economic viability of your project?

The refinery is viable regardless of the oil market.

That’s why it’s so important that the refinery, unlike others in North America, is being designed with the flexibility to produce outputs such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene or other distillates, based on the market supply and demand. This means there isn’t a requirement for costly refurbishments or upgrades.

Are there other global economic factors that will impact your decision to proceed with the project?

Global economic factors can certainly impact this project, but its unique location—including its proximity to Canadian bitumen and interested Asian markets, as well as the decision to build a facility that anticipates many changes in both supply and demand over the project’s 50-year lifespan—will insulate us from many of the cyclical ups and downs of the industry.

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