SAINT JOHN, NB—Irving Oil has announced it will invest $200 million in a turnaround project at its Saint John refinery this fall. The project, called Operation Falcon, will be the largest turnaround in the company’s history, with a focus on improving safety, reliability and long-term competitiveness. The company noted the project will also be one of largest private sector investments to take place in Atlantic Canada this year.
The turnaround project is scheduled to begin Sept. 16 and will last 60 days, employing almost 3,000 tradespeople in addition to the full-time employees already working at the refinery.
“Operation Falcon is an incredible feat of organization, planning and hard work, and it’s truly fuelled by the people of Atlantic Canada,” Ian Whitcomb, president of Irving Oil, said. “This is more than an investment in the refinery, it is an investment in our people and our region, and it signals Irving Oil’s long-term commitment to the economic future of Saint John, New Brunswick, and the rest of Atlantic Canada.”
The company said pipefitters, electricians, boilermakers, and other skilled workers will work the equivalent of 800 annualized jobs, as they make substantial upgrades to numerous areas of the refinery’s operations. The majority of these additional workers will come from communities throughout New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada. Irving said the influx into the local economy has the potential to create $27 million in direct spinoff benefits for Saint John.
Irving Oil operates Canada’s largest refinery, producing as many as 320,000 barrels per day. The refinery exports over 80 per cent of its production to the U.S. and accounts for 19 per cent of all U.S. gasoline imports.