1. Where exactly will the raw supply for the ethylene production come from and how is it going to be transported to the new facility?
- Raw material for the NGL Recovery Plant will be supplied via Enbridge’s existing Westcoast Energy Pipeline, which delivers natural gas to customers in BC, Washington, Oregon and California and has been operating for more than 60 years. This will not impact operation of the Enbridge pipeline.
2. Which main chemicals will be used in the proposed refining/manufacturing process?
- Ethylene glycol as a heat transfer fluid
- Dimethyl disulphide (DMDS) or dimethyl sulphide (DMS) (used for passivation of furnaces, small amounts)
- Acid (used for regeneration of demineralized water treatment system)
- Caustic soda
- Minor chemicals are used throughout the water treatment processes and within the hydrocarbon processing systems
- Specific amounts of these chemicals will be determined during detailed engineering phase
3. How will these chemicals be transported to the site?
- By truck and rail
4. What type of onsite storage facilities will be used and what safeguards are associated with such storage facilities?
- Industry standard storage vessels, such as spheres or bullets and tanks. Storage will be provided for hydrocarbons, process chemicals, and water (raw water, treated water, contaminated water, etc.)
- Safeguards associated with these storage facilities include:
- Primary containment systems: inherently safe design practices on all storage equipment, including level monitoring and controls, pressure control features, carefully considered materials of construction, the addition of internal linings where applicable, and central monitoring systems
- Secondary containment systems: storage tanks and vessels, for hydrocarbon, chemicals or water storage will each be surrounded by an enclosed area formed by a curb, dyke or full containment wall. These areas will be lined—clay, concrete, polyethylene liners, etc.—to prevent leakage. The containment areas are designed to hold more than the full volume of the vessel. Hydrocarbon and chemical pumps will also have secondary containment measures.
- Even if secondary containment fails, all run-off from developed areas on site will be directed into a storm water retention pond. This water would not be released to the environment without testing, providing a third layer of protection.
5. When flaring does take place with either planned or unplanned shut downs or plant upsets, how much of an additional air emission load is to be anticipated during such times?
- Modern flares are designed to destroy greater than 99.5% of the original hydrocarbon, breaking it down into mainly CO2 and water vapour
- Specific volumes will be reported within the Environmental Assessment (EA) Application. WCOL, needs to complete sufficient engineering to provide detail on the expected flaring events and volumes.
6. What impacts are you anticipating with increased road and rail traffic, and what measures will you take to mitigate those potential impacts?
- We will be primarily shipping products by rail to Prince Rupert. The advantage of the CN Rail infrastructure Prince George is that the rail routing will ensure there is minimal disruption to local traffic as the rail runs under highway 97 at the south entry to Prince George, under highway 16 at the east entry and then along 1st avenue then under River Road and the two Nechako River bridges. The Project will continue to work with CN Rail to determine the rail traffic impacts and this will be evaluated as part of the cumulative effects assessment in the EA application process.
- Other road and rail traffic impacts, including those expected during the construction and operational phases of the project, will be assessed during the EA application process for the project.
7. How much extra rail line is going to have to be built by CN in order to connect with and serve your site?
- We will build our own rail system on our property and connect to the adjacent to CN Rail line. The existing CN Rail line from Prince George to Prince Rupert already has the capacity to handle the product volumes from the WCOL Project and no new rail lines are expected to be added by CN
- These details will be developed with CN and included within the EA Application
- The 3rd party polyethylene producer will be responsible for their own rail requirements
8. Will this increase in rail traffic bring westerly passenger rail traffic to a halt? Can you provide evidence to reassure community members that rail capacity can be augmented without increased conflict or risk?
- No, it will not bring passenger rail traffic to a halt. In fact, should the WCOL Project not go ahead, there are other projects in the works that will produce these same products in Alberta and these products will still route through Prince George, but would also add load to the rail system between Prince George and Alberta
9. If the main product is plastic pellets and the majority of those will be shipped to Asia, how many rail cars are going to be needed to transport the pellets to Asia through Prince Rupert? Will this put an additional strain on rail, rail companies, and/or communities with rail lines? If so, how will the company work to mitigate associated negative impacts?
- The Ethylene Derivative Plant(s) will likely be producing plastics. This facility will be owned by a third-party. The third-party will be required to provide this information when they go through their own separate regulatory processes.