News Releases

Pacific Future Energy welcomes Prime Minister’s remarks on building a refinery in British Columbia

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VANCOUVER — Pacific Future Energy welcomes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s support for building a private-sector refinery in BC.  The prime minister said last week that Ottawa is open to proposals for such a facility.

The prime minister said in Victoria that he knows many B.C. residents including First Nations are struggling. He was clear that the federal government is open to ideas that would make life more affordable and sustainable for Canadians, including the possibility of building a refinery in BC.

“The economics are sound,” said Samer Salameh, executive chair and CEO. “A Canadian refinery will make money. We also have confirmed interest from buyers and suppliers.

“Our biggest hurdle for investment is perceived politics, not economics.  International investors are wary of getting in on the ground floor of big energy projects right now on Canada’s west coast.  Comments like the prime minister’s can help change this.”

Media contact: Don MacLachlan, 604-329-8712,

(Posted here 26 July 2019)

Gasoline prices underline need for new refinery

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That was the conclusion a newspaper columnist reported after big jumps in BC gas prices, attributed to the inability of current refineries to provide enough gas at the time.

In Victoria, columnist Jack Knox told readers of the Times Colonist newspaper on March 31:

“The price jumped seven cents a litre in a single day, to $1.319 from $1.249. If we try harder, maybe we can hit No. 2 next week. “

Knox went on to note: “B.C. used to have seven refineries but now has just two, the Chevron facility in Burnaby and a smaller one operated by Husky in Prince George. Having allowed most of our refineries to disappear, we rely on four big ones in Washington.”

And he quoted Dan McTeague at, a website that tracks gas prices across North America.

“’They’re willing to produce gas for us, but at a price,’ McTeague says. ‘We pay a pretty steep premium because of our inability to produce enough in our own backyard.

“‘As buyers, we’re in a weak position,’ McTeague says. If we balk, the refiners will simply sell the same gas to customers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

The Vancouver Sun reported on April 2:

“Prices were as high as $1.42.9 at dozens of gas stations Sunday from Vancouver to Surrey, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge. That is a 13-cent price hike from just a week ago, and 29 cents more than what motorists paid a year ago.

“And the reason? There’s not enough of it, according to Dan McTeague.”

Jacques Benoit named PFEC president

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Jacques Benoit

Jacques Benoit, Pacific Future Energy Corporation’s chief operating officer, has taken on the additional role of company president.

“Jacques will lead our engineering, environmental and permitting effort through the next few years,” said Samer Salameh, executive chairman and CEO.

“He’s an environmental engineer with considerable large-scale project experience. His experience and commitment in that field will be crucial as we move forward to build the world’s greenest refinery.

“He will also play a vital role in building relationships and trust with all the First Nations who would be affected by the project. He will deliver on our approach of ‘First Nations First’ through which we recognize Indigenous title, rights, and governance.”

Salameh himself will primarily focus now on investor relations and capital markets, and on finalizing client-markets overseas and in North America for PFEC’s refined fuels.

Benoit has worked on more than 30 major projects, including the Hibernia Offshore Oil Development (on the Grand Banks, off Newfoundland and Labrador), the Hibernia offshore transshipment terminal, the Sable Offshore Energy Project (near Sable island, off Nova Scotia) and the Eastern Siberia-Far East natural-gas pipeline project in Russia.

Salameh noted that the Hibernia project is the largest ever built by using pre-fabricated modules.

“Jacques’ experience will be critical for us as our plan is to have pre-fabricated modules built in Asia. We would then bring them in by sea and assemble them at the refinery site.”

Benoit has also led more than 25 energy-related projects through Canadian federal and provincial regulatory processes. These include the Arctic Pilot natural gas proposal in the High Arctic, and the Rabaska LNG terminal in Quebec.

Benoit has more than 37 years experience in the environmental and oil/gas engineering fields in Canada and internationally. He has lived and worked in Japan for nine years. Before joining PFEC in January 2015 he was senior vice-president for the environmental and water division of SNC-Lavalin, managing a staff of 1,200. He is also the author of many industry publications.

Pacific Future Energy plans to build its refinery, co-created with First Nations, at a site halfway between Terrace and Kitimat in northwestern BC. Cost is estimated at $11-14 billion (U.S. dollars).

PFEC’s project now is in the Federal Environmental Assessment process. PFEC expects the federal government to name soon an independent review panel of outside experts to conduct its assessment.   

The refinery would produce 200,000 barrels a day of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel. And it would create an estimated 3,500 jobs during construction, and 1,000 permanent jobs during operation.

Media contact: Don MacLachlan,, 604-329-8712

PFEC project referred to environmental review panel

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A review panel to be appointed by the federal government will conduct the environmental assessment for Pacific Future Energy’s proposed refinery.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that in Ottawa, but details of the panel and its operations are not yet known.

Pacific Future Energy’s CEO, Samer Salameh, said: “We look forward to working with the panel, and urge the government and the panel to seize this opportunity to co-create their review process with local First Nations. Co-creation with First Nations has been a priority for Pacific Future Energy since Day One.”

Pacific Future Energy Corp. (PFEC) proposes “the world’s greenest refinery” on a site halfway between Kitimat and Terrace. It would refine diesel, gasoline and other products from Western Canadian NEATBIT™ bitumen, brought to the refinery by train.

Media contact: Don MacLachlan,, 604-329-8712


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Hon. Wally Oppal, former BC judge, former BC attorney general, and an active community leader, has joined our Advisory Board.

Born and educated in Vancouver, he graduated from the University of BC law school, and practised as a lawyer and community advocate before becoming a judge. He was appointed to the County Court in Vancouver in 1981, to the Supreme Court of BC in 1985, and to the BC Court of Appeal in 2003.

Oppal resigned from the bench to run in the 2005 provincial election and became MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. He served as BC’s attorney general, and minister responsible for multiculturalism, until 2009.

He is chancellor of BC’s Thomson Rivers University.

In 1992-94, he was commissioner of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Policing in British Columbia. In 2010, he was appointed commissioner of BC’s Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, and issued its report in 2012.

The advisory board provides Pacific Future Energy with strategic advice and input, and guidance on issues that are important to stakeholders.


Media contact: Don MacLachlan, don@pacificfutureenergy.com604-329-8712

Pacific Future Energy files full project description

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Pacific Future Energy has filed with federal and provincial regulators its formal “Project Description,” which provides the public with information about its plans to build the world’s greenest bitumen refinery in northwest BC.

A draft version of the project description was filed with First Nations in December 2015 and with the federal and provincial regulators in January 2016.  This version takes into account all comments and feedback received to date.

The filing means that the BC Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will soon kick off a government-and-public review process that could take up to two years.

“This starts another phase in our public conversation about how to build our future and protect our coast in northern BC by creating the world’s greenest bitumen refinery, while recognizing and respecting First Nations rights and title,” says Samer Salameh, PFEC’s chairman and CEO.

Pacific Future Energy proposes to build, with First Nations as co-creators, a bitumen-to-fuels refinery on a site between Terrace and Kitimat. It would produce diesel, gasoline, jet fuel and other products, primarily for export but also to serve domestic demand.

Subject to approvals, construction could start in 2018, and production in 2021. Cost would be $9 – $11 billion USD.




  • There would be no big oil tankers carrying diluted bitumen or heavy crude oil through BC’s northwest coastal waters;
  • The refinery would bring in safe, near-solid NEATBIT™ bitumen by rail, reducing risks of damage from land and water spills;
  • The refinery would be powered with clean energy and use the latest in technology to achieve Near Zero Net Carbon (NZNC) emissions;
  • The project would refine Canada’s oil at home, rather than see it shipped it to foreign refineries where environmental standards may be lower;
  • It would keep jobs in Canada (3,500 in construction and 1,000 in operations) and keep investment and public revenue in Canada.

Media contact: Don MacLachlan,




Bruce Chan joins our Advisory Board

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Bruce Chan comes to our advisory board after nearly 20 years in senior positions with Teekay Corporation, one of the world’s largest marine energy transportation, storage and production companies.

Prior to that, Bruce was with Ernst & Young LLC in Vancouver.  He holds a Masters in Business Administration and is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst.

Bruce currently serves on the Board of BC Ferries, one of the largest ferry operators in the world, providing year-round vehicle and passenger service on 24 routes to 47 terminals, with a fleet of 35 vessels.

Bruce also serves on the Board of the TK Foundation, a private grant-making foundation supporting non-profit maritime and disadvantaged youth development programs.  The TK Foundation was established in honour of J. Torben Karlshoej, the founder of Teekay Corporation.

The advisory board provides Pacific Future Energy with strategic advice and input, and guidance on issues that are important to stakeholders.

Media contact: Don MacLachlan,, 604-329-8712

JV Driver joins Pacific Future Energy team

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The JV Driver Group, an award-winning construction contractor, has joined Pacific Future Energy as an investor and partner.

Founded in 1989, the JV Driver Group is a multi-national group specializing in industrial construction, fabrication, plant maintenance and marine services. It has extensive experience in oil and gas, with projects exceeding $1.2 billion.

JV Driver also has experience in constructing green plant facilities in the power-generation and oil-and-gas sectors, and works closely with many First Nations throughout Western Canada.

Pacific Future Energy Corporation (PFEC) plans to build the world’s greenest bitumen-to-fuels refinery. Construction could begin in 2018 and production in 2021-2, at a site between Terrace and Kitimat in northwestern BC.

Samer F. Salameh, PFEC’s executive chair and CEO: “Having the JV Driver Group on board means we will get early help in turning ideas into concrete plans. They have delivered successful projects in the oil-and-gas and petrochemical sectors for more than 20 years.”

Bill Elkington, CEO of the JV Driver Group: “JV Driver is very excited to be onboard with Pacific Future Energy and to be part of a team with a legacy of building one of the greenest refineries in the world.”Elkington

JV Driver has more than 5,000 employees with offices across Canada, the southern United States, Africa and the Caribbean, with annual sales volumes in excess of $1 billion.

The JV Driver Group won the 2015 Shell CEO’s Health, Security, Safety and Environment (HSSE) and Social Performance Award (SP). The company has gone 22 years without a lost-time incident.

JV Driver recently won Platinum Club recognition for being one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies each year since 2009. Elkington is also a former winner of the Ernst & Young Prairies Region Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Terms of the JV Driver Group investment in Pacific Future Energy remain confidential.


Media contact: Don MacLachlan,, 604-329-8712

Pacific Future Energy begins public conversation about its plans to build world’s greenest refinery


Pacific Future Energy now has submitted its formal proposal to build and operate the world’s greenest bitumen-to-fuels refinery in northwestern BC to local First Nations governments as well as to federal and provincial regulators.

“This is the start of our public conversation as we work to build our economic future and protect our coast in Northern BC, while recognizing and respecting First Nations rights and title,” said Samer Salameh, executive chairman of Vancouver-based Pacific Future Energy.

The project would receive near-solid neatbit™ bitumen by rail from Western Canada and refine it into diesel, gasoline, and other products for export to world markets.

Unlike diluted bitumen (dilbit) traditionally shipped by pipeline or rail, neatbit™ has a consistency similar to peanut butter. It is stable, has low flammability and is classified as non-dangerous for transport.

“Not only would our proposal provide a value-added way to get Canadian oil to growing world markets, but it would also protect both Canada’s land and marine environments from the effects of a heavy oil or bitumen spill,” said Robert Delamar, CEO of Pacific Future Energy.

“Our plan would take full advantage of the opportunity for Canada by building a ‘near net zero carbon emissions’ refinery with the world’s most advanced technology. That will ensure an environmentally superior refinery that is also financially and economically sound.”

Jacques Benoit, chief operating officer of Pacific Future Energy, said: “The project will allow export of refined products instead of diluted bitumen or other unrefined heavy-oil products. Transported in smaller tankers, refined products greatly reduce the risk to the marine environment in the unlikely event of a spill.”

The project is proposed for an area known as the Dubose Flats, approximately 30 km south of Terrace BC.

“We are engaging with First Nations in the project area in every step of this process, recognizing them as a First Order of Government and honouring the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Salameh.

“Engaging with First Nations as a first order of government, with the goal of operating as full partners, is a crucial element of Pacific Future Energy’s plans.  PFEC recognizes and will respect the new industry standard of placing First Nations First.”

The project is valued at approximately $15 billion CAD and will create an estimated 3,500 direct jobs in construction and 1,000 in operation.

Pacific Future Energy plans to power the refinery with clean-energy sources that include biomass wood-waste from the regional forest industry. This, it says, could benefit BC’s forest sector and create additional employment.

Pacific Future Energy now begins working with First Nations, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the BC Environmental Assessment Office on project requirements that include public consultations, environmental assessment and engineering studies.

“We will be listening very carefully to all of the feedback that we receive and will incorporate community concerns and values in our project’s design,” added Delamar. “We believe that social licence or permission must be earned at the concept stage of this project as well as throughout its lifecycle.”

Construction could begin in 2018 and production in 2021.

The full Project Description document submitted to regulators is online at:



About Pacific Future Energy (

Vancouver-based Pacific Future Energy is a Canadian-controlled company that has been developed to finance, design and construct the world’s greenest oil refinery in British Columbia, in partnership with First Nations. Its goals include creating jobs and economic stability at home, diversifying Canada’s oil industry and protecting BC’s coast from large oil tankers.


Facts and figures from Pacific Future Energy:

  • Pacific Future Energy is committed to building a refinery with the lowest CO2 emissions possible, working to achieve low carbon intensity and Near Zero Net Carbon emissions. Key features include:
    • Use of the best available technology and the highest possible operational efficiency to process Canadian resources;
    • The highest amount of water recycling and treatment;
    • Maximum recovery of carbon dioxide;
    • The use of clean energy to power the refinery, including the use of wood-waste biomass;
    • Capturing carbon from various processes.
  • Pacific Future Energy’s refinery will eliminate the production of coke, which is a common by-product of oil refining. Coke is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and will not be produced by this refinery.
  • The refinery could produce up to 160,000 barrels a day of diesel, 40,000 barrels a day of gasoline, 13,000 a day of kerosene (jet fuel) and 10,000 a day of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, or propane). Butane will also be produced.
  • The refinery would be built in large pre-fabricated modules, brought in by ship from Asia, then hauled by truck to the site, and assembled there.
  • The use of biomass could help revive sawmills in the region. More than a dozen sawmills have closed in recent years; a key problem being inability to get rid of waste wood and biomass. There could be at least a million tonnes of wood waste in the region. That could produce power for the refinery and allow mills to re-open.
  • Pacific Future Energy anticipates four trains per day to supply needed neatbit™ for the project, with each train approximately 120 cars in length
  • Pacific Future Energy will mandate the use of newer, safety TC-117 model tanker cars with enhanced safety features.

Alberta firm helps BC toward world’s greenest refinery

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Formation Liquids Logistics Limited, based in Red Deer, Alberta, and a leader in energy logistics, has announced its intention to invest in Pacific Future Energy’s proposal to build the world’s greenest bitumen-to-fuels refinery in British Columbia.

Pacific Future Energy Corporation (PFEC) has submitted its proposal to federal and provincial regulators. This began a review process that could last up to two years.
Construction could begin in 2018 and production in 2021, at a site between Terrace and Kitimat in northwestern BC. The project will cost an estimated $15 billion.

Formation Liquids Logistics (FLLL) has 28 years experience in the product-by-rail industry. It will help feed PFEC’s refinery with Western Canadian “neatbit” by rail. Neatbit is bitumen in a safe and near-solid form. From it, the refinery will produce diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel.

PFEC will open up new market access for Canada’s oil products and protect BC’s coastal waters from large crude-oil tankers, says Robert Delamar, CEO of the Vancouver-based company.

“We are proud that Marvin and Brandt Trimble of FLLL have chosen to invest in our vision to build the world’s greenest refinery,” said Delamar. “They are leaders in their field. FLLL will become the primary operator of our proposed rail facilities, and we couldn’t be happier to work with a firm that shares our values, and holds an unimpeachable record with respect to the safe transport of bitumen on rail.”

Marvin Trimble, president of FLLL, said: “FLLL has worked with most of the major producers in Western Canada and supports PFEC’s vision to open new markets in Asia for products from Canadian bitumen.  We have a strong record of providing better-than-pipeline economics to the oil industry in Western Canada, and we are confident that our facilities will be able to deliver to PFEC a steady supply of feedstock in a safe and environmentally optimal fashion.”

As both PFEC and FLLL are private companies, the terms of the financing are not being disclosed at this time.