We came very, very close to getting a new green-field refinery, that would sell 250,000 bbl/day of refined product to the Eastern Seaboard of the US, but in the end, the numbers didn't add up, and the project was cancelled. It would have been the first new refinery built in North America in decades.
The facility that you are referring too, where was it proposed to be built? I can easily appreciate that refineries are highly unpopular additions to a community, not only are the construction costs of these units is very prohibitive, but the social ramifications are not easily accepted by the community at large.
Unfortunately, refineries, pipelines and related elements are a necessary evil if we want to consume the fuel.
It was proposed for Saint John, NB, and was popular with well over 80% of the population, there was little question that it would go ahead as far as environmental approvals, but the projections for oil demand made the numbers uneconomic, and it was shelved. It would have been approx 250,000 bbl/day, and the refined products would pretty much all have gone to the Eastern Seaboard of the US. Since one of the partners was BP, it's unlikely that it will be restarted, but one never knows. A shame, in many ways, it would have been a huge economic boon to us and to the Canadian taxpayers.
Ironically, there is a shortage of North American (possibly global) refineries that deal with heavy crude. It may be pretty interesting to see what happens on the world markets in the not so distant future.
Yes, they are definitely modular. Wasn't there a huge component that was being brought from China, by barge up into Montana or Idaho, from where it was being trucked up to Kearl Lake?