Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Destination Prince Rupert? As Northern Gateway stalls, Eagle Spirit Energy proposal is reintroduced

While the District of Kitimat works to decide what to do with their results of Saturday nights plebiscite (and mend relations in the now divided community) those with an alternate vision for energy development in the Northwest are seizing the moment to put forward their plans.

Saturday nights results provided both David Black of Kitimat Clean fame and Eagle Spirit Energy Holding proponents of an energy pipeline and shipment terminal to once again put forward their proposals, though with little in the way of background material for now.

Mr. Black, the publishing baron behind the string of weekly newspapers in the region, heralded the vote in Kitimat as a positive thing for his plan for an oil refinery in the community. There hasn't been much heard about that project in recent months; other than the occasional mention of it by Mr. Black, usually in one of his papers.

Terrace Standard-- Ship crude by sea? Dangerous nonsense
Victoria Times Colonist-- Kitimat refinery would benefit environment, David Black says
CKNW-- Businessman behind proposed Kitimat oil refinery welcomes pipeline referendum result

You can review our archive items on the proposal here.

Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings also took advantage of the interest in the plebiscite to return to the media spotlight on Monday morning, reviewing some of their talking points on their proposal , which would be First Nations led with support from Vancouver's Aquilini family.

Among their main points to take to the media of Monday:

Eagle Spirit Energy's proposal: The Eagle Spirit Energy proposal would involve a state-of-the-art pipeline connected to an upgrader in Northern Alberta or North Eastern B.C.; 

Represents a commitment to minimize any impacts on the coastal and inland waters, wildlife, and neighboring communities; 

Under Eagle Spirit Energy's proposal, the pipeline would transport synthetic crude rather than bitumen. Synthetic crude oil is an amber coloured product and one of the lighter forms of crude oil; and 

Collectively, this project would provide investment, training and employment, business and contracting opportunities, and resource revenue sharing opportunities in Northern British Columbia where communities are largely dependent upon the environmentally responsible development of natural resources.

Like the Kitimat Clean proposal, key to the Eagle Spirit option would be the construction of an oil shipment terminal.

With the upgrader aspect of the refining process in Northeastern BC or Northwest Alberta, a feature of their plan that would take out the seemingly toxic discussion point of raw bitumen shipments, something that has so haunted Enbridge through their process.

We first made mention of their interest in the energy sector and in the region back in October with this item, which included a number of links to some reviews of their background and future plans.

Monday's press conference from Eagle Spirit officials clearly served its purpose, judging by the many articles in the media of Monday.

National Post-- First Nations propose Northern Gateway pipeline alternative following plebiscite setback
CBC-- Eagle Spirit pipeline proposal faces First Nations opposition
Global Post-- Canucks owners join aboriginal businessman to pitch their own pipeline for BC
Business in Vancouver-- First Nations, Aquilinis propose Enbridge alternative
Vancouver Province-- Aquilini Group's pipeline project gains support as First Nations group abandon Northern Gateway camp
Globe and Mail-- Rival pipeline proponent touts First Nations support in wake of Kitimat vote

The last item from the Globe offers up some interesting notes for the North Coast with Mark Hume outlining that the Eagle Spirit project would be routed to Prince Rupert, making the North Coast the new topic for discussion we imagine for the next round of oil shipments from British Columbia.

Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings appears to be holding their plans fairly close to this point, not providing much background on where they might place any terminal, nor what route the pipeline they are proposing may travel, or whether there has been any opposition made to their plans from communities across Northern British Columbia.

One thing seems fairly certain however, from their comments it appears that they won't be making a shipment point in the Kitimat region. Leaving us to grab a map and try to figure out our own routes between Alberta and the Northwest coast of British Columbia.

Considering the links to Lax Kw'alaams through Mr. Helin, one would have to think that Grassy Point north of Prince Rupert, may one day factor into one of their proposed locations.

With the the Eagle Spirit proposal back in the spotlight, we will be adding a page to the blog, in our archive of Industrial Development. From there we will continue to follow the project as more of it is made available.

You can find that archive page here. It's permanent placement will be on our Industrial Archive page

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