This fall, Irving Oil will invest $200 million in a turnaround project at its Saint John refinery in New Brunswick. 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. This will also be one of largest private sector investments to take place in Atlantic Canada this year.
The turnaround begins Sept. 16 and will last a total of 60 days, employing almost 3,000 tradespeople in addition to the full-time employees already working at the refinery. Together, 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. This influx into the local economy has the potential to create $27 million in direct spinoff benefits for Saint John.
“Operation Falcon is an incredible feat of organization, planning and hard work, and it’s truly fueled by the people of Atlantic Canada,” said Ian Whitcomb, president of Irving Oil. “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.”
Turnaround crew members will participate in extensive safety training orientation sessions prior to beginning work, ensuring the refinery’s strong safety culture is maintained throughout the project. As well, daily safety audits will be conducted and additional safety specialists will be onsite for the duration of the turnaround.
Irving Oil was founded in 1924 and is a privately owned refining and marketing company with a history of long-term partnerships and relationships. The company operates one of Canada’s largest refineries in Saint John, which is located 65 miles north of the U.S. border and has reached production rates in excess of 320,000 barrels per day (bpd). The refinery exports more than 80 percent of its production to the United States and accounts for 75 percent of Canada’s gasoline exports to the United States and 19 percent of all U.S. gasoline imports.