David Black shows a sample of thick bitumen from the Alberta oil sands. His proposal would keep diluted bitumen from being shipped in bulk from the B.C. coast.

David Black shows a sample of thick bitumen from the Alberta oil sands. His proposal would keep diluted bitumen from being shipped in bulk from the B.C. coast.

David Black to hold public meeting in Prince Rupert on planned oil refinery

David Black will be in Prince Rupert next Thursday evening to hear from people in the community about plans for a $13 billion oil refinery.

David Black, president of Kitimat Clean Ltd., will be in Prince Rupert next Thursday evening to hear from people in the community about plans for a $13 billion oil refinery in the Kitimat area.

Black, who also owns Black Press which publishes the Prince Rupert Northern View, will be speaking at the Lester Centre of the Arts at seven p.m. on Thursday, October 11 in a very casual town hall format.

I just want to talk about the refinery concept and adjoining pipeline, answer questions and solicit opinion,” said Black, who will also be speaking at the 2012 Northern Ports Symposium on Friday and meeting with First Nations leaders in the Prince Rupert area during his visit.

This all goes back to making sure we have a complete look at this project. It was the point of the polling we did previously.”

A province-wide phone survey conducted during September found 78 per cent of respondents were aware of the proposal to build a large refinery at Kitimat to process Alberta heavy crude oil. Provincially, 72 per cent either favoured or were “somewhat supportive” of the proposed $13-billion refinery.

It’s pretty dramatic results. It’s a strong endorsement in a province where you typically see a 60/40 split, so I’m pretty pleased with that,” said Black.

According to Black, those numbers are reflective of what he is hearing in talking to people about the project.

I think the general person in BC is for this proposal because of the jobs that are involved and because it takes the risk of a bitumen spill out of the equation,” he said.