January 15, 2007

EIS to be required for proposed Placentia Bay refinery project

ST JOHN'S, NFLD-Newfoundland and Labrador Environment Minister Clyde Jackman has determined that Newfoundland and Labrador Refinery Corporation (NLRC) will be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its proposed refinery project, in order to address environmental issues related to the undertaking. Consequently, in accordance with the requirements of the provincial Environmental Protection Act, the Minister has appointed an assessment committee to prepare draft guidelines for the EIS. The committee, to be headed by a representative from Department of Environment and Conservation's environmental assessment division, will represent a wide array of federal and provincial government agencies. A draft of the guidelines, highlighting the environmental issues to be addressed in the EIS, will be made available for public comment before being approved by the minister. NLRC, as the proponent, will then be required to submit the EIS, which will also be made available for public review. The company is proposing to build and operate a new 300,000-barrel-per-day refinery on crown land at the north end of Placentia Bay, a deep-water port situated on major shipping routes. The refinery would process imported medium and heavy sour (high sulfur) crude oils into gasoline, kerosene/jet fuel and ultra low-sulfur diesel, with liquefied petroleum gas, sulfur and petroleum coke as byproducts. Provision would be made for future expansion to 600,000 barrels per day refining capacity. In addition to the refinery processing facility itself, the project components include a marine terminal, access road and transmission line, storage tanks and pipelines, sulfur and coke storage and export facilities, water treatment plant, discharge and emissions control equipment, and a desalination plant. More information on the project is available from Ed Kaufhold, chair of the environmental assessment committee, 709/729-0090, E-mail ekaufhold@gov.nl.ca.

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