Irving Oil cutting Saint John refinery greenhouse gas emissions as part of $30-million turnaround 

Publication date

Saint John, NB — On May 13, Irving Oil will begin its 2022 spring turnaround project at the Saint John refinery, representing a $30-million investment in the safety, reliability and efficiency of the facility, including elements that will reduce the facility’s energy footprint.

The first of two turnaround events planned for 2022, Operation Wolf will employ approximately 350 tradespeople and will focus on cleaning, inspecting, replacing and maintaining equipment in key units throughout the refinery – all part of Irving Oil’s commitment to provide a safe and reliable supply of energy to our valued customers. 

The additional workforce will be comprised mainly of tradespeople, including boilermakers, electricians, pipefitters and many other skilled workers; the majority of these additional workers will come from communities throughout New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada. 

Aligned with our sustainability goals, a highlight of this spring’s turnaround is the replacement of a steam turbine with an electric motor on one of the refinery units’ main air blowers. It is estimated that this will result in a reduction of on-site greenhouse gas emissions at the refinery by between 26,000-30,000 tonnes of CO2 absolute (direct) emissions per year. That’s the equivalent of the emissions of more than 7,000 passenger vehicles a year. This, as well as our recent partnership with Saint John Energy to power our Saint John Energy-supplied properties with wind energy by 2023, is an important step in the carbon reduction goals we have outlined in our Report on Sustainability.

“This important maintenance work is critical to ensuring our refinery continues to operate safely, reliably and cleanly, but turnarounds are also important to our community through the significant benefits to our province and region, in terms of jobs and local spending,” says Kevin Scott, Chief Refining & Supply Officer at Irving Oil. “We’re looking forward to getting started and welcoming skilled workers and tradespeople back for the first of two turnaround events this year.” 

The $30-million private investment in the refinery has the potential to create approximately $6 million in benefits for the local Saint John economy. These benefits include boosts to short-term accommodation rentals, recreation services, retail and other local spending. In addition, the total workforce hours on the project represent the equivalent of 170 annualized jobs. 

Safety is a core value at Irving Oil, and all turnaround crew members will be participating in extensive safety training orientation sessions, including enhanced COVID-19 mitigation measures, prior to beginning work. COVID-19 safety protocols include the use of masks in common indoor areas, hand sanitizer readily available for all personnel on site, and enhanced cleaning. Daily safety audits and additional onsite safety specialists will also help to ensure the refinery’s strong safety culture is maintained throughout the project. 

As we begin this project, we thank our employees for their leadership, their perseverance through the COVID-19 pandemic in planning this event, and their continued dedication as we work toward a successful turnaround.

About Irving Oil:
Irving Oil is a family-owned and privately held international energy company. For nearly 100 years, our commitment to doing good business has been grounded in our commitment to people – to our employees, customers, communities and partners. Founded in 1924, our mission is focused on our continued evolution to meet the changing needs of our customers. Specializing in the refining and marketing of finished energy products, we operate Canada’s largest refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, and Ireland’s only refinery located in the village of Whitegate. We proudly serve customers with more than 1,000 fuelling locations and a network of distribution terminals spanning Eastern Canada, New England and in Ireland, operating under the Top brand. We are on a continuous journey of sustainable development, working to reduce our environmental footprint while continuing to provide safe and reliable energy to our customers. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for six consecutive years, we are proud of our team and our longstanding commitment to our customers and our communities. Learn more at

Contact information:
Katherine d’Entremont           
Irving Oil
[email protected]