Canada’s largest bank backing proposed oil refinery

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China agrees to help finance Kitimat refinery

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country’s largest bank, has agreed to take part in financing a large-scale oil refinery proposed for Kitimat.

Kitimat Clean, a company owned by Morning Star owner David Black, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding Thursday.

The agreement commits the bank to “be the Chinese financial advisor to Kitimat Clean and co-operate in the financing of the proposed Kitimat refinery and associated pipelines and other elements,” Black said in a statement.

“Chinese companies will be involved in the engineering and construction of the refinery,” Black said.

“Up to 100 per cent of the output from the refinery is planned to be sold to Asian markets, including China and India.”

He added that majority control of the businesses will remain in Canada.

Liu Yanping, deputy head of corporate banking, and Huang Jifa, deputy head of investment banking at the Chinese bank, said in the statement: “We are very pleased to be working toward a comprehensive agreement to finance a refinery in Canada, which is planning to export refined fuels to China and other Asian countries in the future.”

Black released a Mustel Group poll in February that found three out of four B.C. residents support the idea to refine crude oil in Kitimat rather than export the raw product, diluted bitumen  from the Alberta oil sands, by tanker.

The same poll found that 57 per cent respondents opposed the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

Black has suggested his project may grow to include an alternative pipeline proposal, or oil shipped by the CN Rail line that already connects the Edmonton area with the North Coast.