Frequently Asked Questions

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West Coast Olefins (WCOL) is proposing a NGL Recovery Project which includes an NGL extraction plant with access road, a high-vapour-pressure pipeline and an NGL separation plant.

 

The NGL Recovery Project is required to extract valuable commodities from the Enbridge Westcoast Energy pipeline. These commodities are Propane, Butane and Natural Gas Condensates (feed stock for fuels). Currently the Enbridge Westcoast Energy pipeline contains significant amounts of these commodities, and they are utilized as natural gas fuel for heating, primarily in the lower mainland and into Washington State. When propane, butane and natural gas condensate (collectively referred to as NGLs) are burned with natural gas the result is increased greenhouse gases. By removing these commodities from the gas stream WCOL is significantly reducing BC’s greenhouse gases.

 

The WCOL extraction plant must be located adjacent to the pipeline that is the source gas, in this case the Enbridge Westcoast Energy pipeline. The source gas is routed through the extraction plant and the NGLs are extracted. The remaining natural gas is recompressed and sent back into the source pipeline. The extraction plant is required to be next to the source pipeline, and with proximity to high voltage power to ensure there is minimal air emissions. The extraction plant has the minimum equipment required to remove the NGL’s from the source gas and recompress the source gas into the source pipeline. The WCOL extraction plant is a “straddle plant” and includes equipment that is similar to that found in a compressor station along the Enbridge Westcoast Energy pipeline, such as the ones at Summit Lake and at Hixon, plus the equipment needed to remove the liquid components.

 

The NGLs that are extracted are transferred to the NGL separation plant via a new 10” high vapour pressure pipeline. At the separation plant the NGLs will be separated into propane, butane and natural gas condensate products. These will be stored and shipped via rail to Prince Rupert or the Prince George refinery. The proposed pipeline route adjacent to the existing east-west BC Hydro powerlines was selected to minimize impact on lands that it crosses.

 

The separation plant is being proposed in the Danson Industrial Area (edge of the old BCR site) that is adjacent to the CN Rail lines required to ship our products and is already zoned appropriately for our purposes.

 

WCOL will have to gain regulatory approvals from the Oil and Gas Commission, the Agricultural Land Commission and the Regional District for rezoning. As well WCOL will work with Nav Canada to ensure that the towers and flare stack are registered.

 

We have received several questions about the extraction plant and would like to ensure that everyone has the correct and same information to go off of.

 

The WCOL extraction plant has been designed to minimize the air emissions as much as technically possible and by removing NGLs our project will actually have net negative carbon emissions. The only air emissions will be from the heaters, and if there is an electric option for these, we will look to include them in the design. The flare will not have continuous emissions aside from the pilot.

 

The WCOL extraction plant will not be developing any source water wells and will not be connected to the ground water in the area. The plant will be built on a base that will protect the ground water from any seepage and has a secondary containment plan to ensure any potential spills are captured and cleaned up. As well there will be ground water monitoring wells installed to monitor and ensure there is no impact.

 

The WCOL extraction plant is not being proposed in a wet land. There is a wet land located to the west of the proposed plant and the plant will be outside of the Riparian Management Zone (50 m from the wet land). The equipment will be located even further away. As well, the plant will be graded such that any surface water (rainwater) is captured in a surface water pond away from the wet land. Water contained in the surface water pond (rainwater) will be tested for suitability before being utilized as irrigation water on the adjacent (West ½ 1946) farmland. If the water is not deemed suitable it will be trucked out and disposed of at an approved disposal facility.

 

WCOL is undertaking a Noise Impact Assessment and is required to meet the regulatory requirements for noise. As well WCOL will be conducting an actual noise level study after the plant is operational. West Coast will ensure that our plant is designed to exceed regulatory requirements and will consider local impacts.

 

The lighting at the extraction plant will be reduced to just the minimum required during the nighttime hours. These lights would be directional for safety and security only. WCOL is committed to implementing the following mitigation strategies for light emissions:

  • Minimizing the amount of lighting required while ensuring safe operation of the facility

  • Minimizing brightness of lights to the extent practicable

  • Using automated sensors which shut down lighting in areas of no activity, where it is safe to do so (e.g., nighttime hours - normal operations)

  • Re-angling, shading, or screening of lighting

  • To the extent practicable, directing site lighting downward and inward, and shielded to avoid glare at residence.

 

The only potential source of contamination from the WCOL extraction plant is from chemicals used in the process such as lube oil or glycol and these will be stored in areas that will have additional levels of containment. If there are any leaks of these chemicals into the secondary containment, it will be cleaned up and disposed of appropriately.

 

WCOL is committed to working with the neighbors in Pineview, Buckhorn and Prince George. WCOL is looking to develop a project that will bring economic prosperity to the local area, including over 100 jobs to the local area and numerous training opportunities through the local college and university. WCOL is considering all the feedback from our neighbours and mitigating impacts as much as possible.

 

If you have questions or concerns on this project, please contact Christine Olson at colson@westcoastolfins.com