An American millionaire is slated to unveil a proposal later today to transform a ghost town on B.C.’s northwest coast into an energy hub.

Krishnan Suthanthiran bought the town of Kitsault, about 140 kilometres north of Prince Rupert, in 2005.

The former mining town was built to house 1,000 people but was abandoned in the 1980s after commodity prices crashed.

Suthanthiran originally planned to create an eco-tourism resort at the site but now wants to create a liquefied natural gas plant, export terminal, and possibly an oil refinery.

He says Kitsault would be a logical location to export natural gas from northeastern B.C.

"All the pipelines are coming through Kitsault, and you need the infrastructure,” he said.

“This is one of many, many plans. Keep in mind, life is like a musical chair. Some plans come, some plans don't come. Our approach is, this is one of the plans we're exploring."

Other liquefied natural gas projects are proposed for Kitimat and Prince Rupert.

But Suthathiram believes Kitsault has an advantage over the other locations.

"Historically, the problem that you have when you want to start a project like this [is] housing and infrastructure for the people working, and we already have that,” he said.

He estimates the project will cost between $20 and $30 billion.

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  • Kitsault

    This gallery shows the town of Kitsault, B.C., a ghost town that could be the province's new energy hub. The former mining town, built for 1,000 people, was abandoned when commodity prices dropped. American businessman Krishnan Suthanthiran later purchased the town. All images have been obtained from kitsault.com.

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