Image by Mark Koch

A Great Environmental Story


“Rich gas”, which contains methane, ethane, propane, butane and condensate, is provided to Westcoast Pipeline consumers. When this rich gas is used to heat homes,  the components are burned and wasted, resulting in high amounts of atmospheric emissions.  

Fog and Nature


  • The burning of lean gas produced by West Coast Olefins Ltd. (WCOL) in place of rich gas (gas which contains ethane, propane, butane, and condensate) will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 1 million tonnes of CO2 per year (Mt/y), which more than offsets the 0.6 Mt/y emissions generated by the NGL Recovery Plant and Ethylene Plant in the WCOL Project.

  • Use of ethane feedstock and the latest energy-efficient technologies results in efficient ethylene production, and reduced GHG emissions.

  • Displacement of Chinese coal to olefins technology, which produces approximately 15 times more CO2 emissions than the NGL Recovery and Ethylene Plants, thus lowering the carbon footprint globally.

  • Proposed use of “green” hydroelectricity to provide power to compressors within the NGL Extraction Plant, thereby reducing the GHG emissions (relative to traditional use of a gas turbine driver).

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  • The NGL Recovery and Ethylene Plants will produce essentially no particulate emissions as we do not have solid products.   

  • WCOL fuel gas is a mixture of methane and hydrogen, making it the cleanest fuel of any industrial plant, therefore resulting in extremely low levels of particulate matter being produced, and no associated odour.

  •  The NGL Recovery and Ethylene Plants will be designed with vapour recovery systems and fugitive emission monitoring systems to minimize fugitive emissions and odours.



42% Forest Fires 23% Transportation 19% Residential Wood 9% Misc. Combustion 6% Natural Gas Dehydrators 1% Prescribed Burning 0.16% Steel 0.16% Chemical Industries 0.31% Petroleum Refining

Sometimes Perception is Different than the Facts

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are those organic emissions that will vaporize at atmospheric conditions. The NGL Recovery Plant and Ethylene Plant will be designed to minimize VOC emissions through a number of design features. For more information regarding VOCs and examples of these design features please visit the FAQ page. 

  • Benzene:  The diagram featured to the left illustrates the relative benzene emissions from major industries and activities in Canada in 2010. Over 40% of benzene emissions in Canada are a result of forest fires, with the next highest contributors being transportation and residential wood (such as burning wood or wood pellets). The chemical industry contributes less than 1% to the annual benzene emissions. WCOL acknowledges that benzene is a known carcinogen and will take extensive measures to minimize exposure and releases, and protect the personal safety and health of its workers and the community.  However, it is important that we consider information in a real context. For more information regarding benzene please visit the FAQ page.


  • Raw water intake will be designed to minimize impact on water sources or aquatic life.

  • More than 90% of the water will be used as non-contact cooling water in a circulated cooling water system to minimize the volumes required and minimize the risk of contamination by the petrochemical process.

  • The Plants will be designed to treat and recycle process water streams wherever practical.

  • Used water will be cooled, and will meet all regulatory requirements before being returned to the Fraser River

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