News “We couldn’t secure the site we wanted,”: West Coast Olefins CEO on move back to PG SHARE ON: Brendan Pawliw, staff Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 2020 Ken James President and CEO of West Coast Olefins (MyPGNow.com staff) For the second time in just over a year, West Coast Olefins has decided to set up shop in Prince George. Last night (Tuesday), CEO Ken James announced their 5.6-billion dollar petrochemical plant is returning to the northern capital after failing to land an agreeable site in McLeod Lake. At the end of the day, James told MyPGNow.com a series of roadblocks led to them returning to PG. “When we moved north, we found out that the same group who suggested we go north were still objecting to our project then their voices were added to the people in Summit Lake and we went, well, we aren’t getting the positives when we decided to move north.” “We knew there were downsides to moving north, increased commute distance, a longer raik haul and when we added it up and decided we weren’t getting the benefits we were hoping to get and being stuck with all the downsides, we decided to come back. The big part of what drove us is when we moved north, we got a lot of positive feedback, as well as people who were disappointed we were leaving the city and people, we’re worried about making the long commutes in the winter.” West Coast Olefins has secured back their original location of the BCR Industrial site. This is a sudden turnaround after announcing in May, the project was moving further up Highway 97 – but at the end of the day, an agreeable site was unable to be reached with the Indian Band. “We were unable to secure the site we wanted and then having to develop crown land added another layer of complication and we’ve always been a believer that if there is industrial land that could be used, we should use it rather than using virgin land and turning it into industrial land and then, the Treaty 8 decision that came out last year to move the boundary made the first nation’s issues much more complicated,” added James. Clint Chappell with the BC Resources Coalition stated this project will do more than benefit the natural resource sector. “The benefits of this project are going to be astronomical. The tax revenue it’s going to create and hopefully, we can use some of the taxes to clean up the downtown and help the homeless out. I can’t begin to tell you how many positive economic spinoffs this is going to have.” “This is a huge opportunity to show Canada and the world that we can do these projects efficiently.” The plant will create 1,000 permanent jobs along with several thousand indirect opportunities within the region. The company expects to break ground in early 2022.