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Shell Canada announces refinery project dead

 

The Observer (Sarnia)

UPDATED: Shell refinery project dead

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Updated 32 mins ago

By Observer Staff

Despite “unprecedented” community and government support, Shell Canada has announced it will not proceed with its refinery project in St. Clair Township.

In a news release, company officials cite the current project execution environment, market conditions and the current inflationary pressures across the oil and gas industry as key factors in the decision.

“This decision is a very difficult one for Shell and it is only taken after careful consideration,” said Shell project general manager Amrik Ahluwalia.

Over the past two years Shell has conducted early design work and initiated a comprehensive environmental assessment.

The company announced in November 2006 its plan to spend $50 million to study the project’s feasibility. The company optioned more than nine square miles (2,400) hectares of land near Courtright in preparation of moving forward.

Ahluwalia thanked the community and government officials for their work in supporting the project.

“The co-operation we received from the people in this region and all levels of government was unprecedented.”

Lambton County Warden Jim Burn expressed disappointment on learning the project was dead.

“They’re dismantling the team that has been working on it. It’s pretty much not going to happen at this time anyway.”

Business leaders and many residents dreamed of the boost the project would give the economy. Just the prospect of thousands of construction job had driven real estate values to record highs.

But opponents were concerned about the environmental impact of a massive refinery processing oil from Alberta’s tar sands.

Walpole Island Chief Joseph Gilbert said the decision is a win for both the First Nation and the wider community.

“We’ve never been against progress, but we expressed concern (about) what the impact would be on future generations.”

Article ID# 1105220

 

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