There are no plans to construct an oil terminal anywhere on Tsawwassen First Nation lands, according to Chief Bryce Williams.
In an emailed statement, he said the first nation’s executive council had “immediately” rejected a “preliminary and unsolicited” proposal presented as a project that could potentially be backed by Chinese resource firm Sinoenergy earlier in 2017.
The Globe and Mail newspaper reported Monday that Canadian Advantage Petroleum Corporation, a subsidiary of Sinoenergy, had conducted “early engineering work” on an oil terminal on the first nation’s lands and that a company spokesman indicated a TFN community vote on the project could come as early as June.
The oil-by-rail proposal reportedly aims to bring crude oil by train through B.C. from Chinese-owned portions of the Alberta oil patch and load it to very large tankers bound for refineries in Asia.
Williams said that at no point during the earlier pitch had Canadian Advantage Petroleum Corporation been mentioned.
He said the first nation is not pursuing any similar project, nor is any community vote being scheduled.
“At this time, TFN has no intention of moving forward with any proposal to build an oil terminal on Tsawwassen Lands,” Williams said.
“Tsawwassen First Nation has not received an oil terminal proposal by Canadian Advantage Petroleum Corporation, nor has TFN indicated an interest in similar proposals from any other organization or company.”
Canadian Advantage Petroleum Corporation has not yet responded to inquiries.
Industry experts have previously predicted there would be growing interest by oil firms in transporting crude by rail to west coast ports, in the absence of increased pipeline capacity.
Kinder Morgan’s planned twinning of its Trans Mountain pipeline has federal government approval but could face new opposition from B.C. depending on the makeup of the next provincial government.