Irving Oil Refinery Begins $60 Million Turnaround

Publication date

SAINT JOHN, NB — Over the next 6 weeks, 1,700 additional workers will perform scheduled maintenance on several processing units at the Saint John refinery. Work will be underway 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until the project is completed.

Known in the refining industry as a “turnaround”, the project represents a $60 million investment to ensure the safety, reliability and environmental performance of process units within the refinery. The work will involve maintenance and upgrading work on several units in the refinery’s Central, South and East Process areas.

In total, around 2,000 people will be directly involved with the turnaround, including 1,700 additional tradespeople in positions ranging from pipefitters to boilermakers. The experience and expertise of these workers are reasons why the refinery can successfully execute projects of this scope. The majority of workers are from New Brunswick with a handful from Nova Scotia.

“Turnarounds are critical to maintaining the safety and environmental performance of our refinery, and they also provide tremendous benefits to our province and the region” says Mark Sherman, General Manager of the Irving Oil Refinery. “The one million workforce hours are equivalent to 480 full time annualized jobs, which translates into significant provincial spending in areas like entertainment, transportation and recreation with a boost in accommodation rental throughout the turnaround.”

The refinery’s strong safety culture will be maintained throughout the project, as turnaround crew members will participate in extensive safety training orientation sessions prior to beginning work. As well, daily safety audits will be conducted and additional safety specialists will be on-site for the duration of the turnaround.

About Irving Oil

Irving Oil was founded in 1924 and is a privately owned regional refining and marketing company with a history of long-term partnerships and relationships. Irving Oil operates Canada’s largest refinery, in Saint John NB, which is located 65 miles north of the US border and has reached production rates in excess of 320,000 barrels per day. The refinery exports over 80 per cent of its production to the US and accounts for 75 per cent of Canada’s gasoline exports to the US and 19 per cent of all US gasoline imports. In 2003, Irving Oil became the first oil company to receive a US Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Excellence Award, for its clean gasoline.

Media contact:

Sam Robinson
Public Affairs, Irving Oil
[email protected]

2014 Turnaround Fast Facts

  • Work on the turnaround will take place around the clock for six weeks and is expected to be complete by mid-April. In total, the project will represent 1,000,000 workforce hours.
  • The $60 million turnaround will include work to several units within the Central, South and East Process Areas of the refinery. Work will include cleaning, equipment inspection, repairs, replacements and piping upgrades.
  • In total, around 2,000 people including 1600-1700 additional electricians, pipefitters, boilermakers, instrument technicians, labourers, insulators, millwrights, ironworkers and scaffolders.
  • Approximately 90% of the skilled workforce involved is from New Brunswick, approximately 10% from Nova Scotia.
  • While the work occurs over an intense six week period, the effect is similar to 480 full time annualized jobs.
  • The turnaround will support an estimated $41 million worth of consumer spending in New Brunswick including restaurants (estimated $1.6 million in spending), transportation ($10.1 million), shelter ($9.2 million), recreation ($2.8 million), communications ($1.5 million), health care services (over $350,000) and entertainment (i.e. movies, shows, etc. $690,000).
  • The turnaround will provide a boost to New Brunswick’s annual GDP of $51.6 million (total impact). Over the six week period, this one project will boost the private sector component of New Brunswick’s GDP by 2.4 percent.
  • The Irving Oil Refinery will continue to meet the needs of its customers throughout the course of the project.