Speaking in Vancouver, Black says details still have to be worked out, but a memorandum of understanding has been signed and he insists it’s “100 per cent.”

He says he expects to announce more details about the investors in the coming weeks.

Black has previously said he envisioned his refinery proposal as the last stop along the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands, and said he hoped his plan would shift the debate about that project.

But he now says he’ll take Alberta bitumen any way he can get it, either by pipeline or by rail.

He says the facility could be in service by 2020.