Irving Oil announces $220 million investment in Saint John Refinery - Project workforce will peak at approximately 1,800 people



    SAINT JOHN, NB, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - Irving Oil's Saint John Refinery is
beginning one of the most significant investments ever conducted at the
facility. The 60-day project is expected to employ 1,800 tradespeople at peak
times, with a total investment of approximately $220 million.
    The local and domestic project workforce is expected to reach a total of
one million working hours over the duration of the project. The economic
contribution to Saint John generated by this work is anticipated to be over
$200 million in terms of meals, accommodations, retail services and other
related economic benefits.
    The investment will strengthen the refinery's ability to serve markets in
Atlantic Canada and the US Northeast through improving the facility's yield or
conversion to higher grade fuels such as Ultra-Low Sulphur Gasoline. This will
be accomplished by the project's work on the Residue Catalytic Cracking Unit
and Gasoline Desulphurization Unit, representing an investment of $170 million
to enhance the processing reliability and efficiency of those units. General
maintenance on other refinery units will also result in an overall reduction
in flaring and fugitive emissions.
    "This is an extremely valuable investment in our refinery's future, to
further prepare for the challenging market and industry conditions we are
facing and ensure the facility's viability for decades to come," says Mark
Sherman, Refinery General Manager. "Our units are maintained to the highest
standards, but this combination of maintenance work and investment will allow
us to enhance their reliability and overall performance. This work also sets a
foundation for other potential investments."
    Irving Oil places a strong emphasis on safety training and practice in
day-to-day operations and special projects. All project tradespeople joining
the refinery workforce must complete the Refinery Safety Orientation and
safety instructions pertaining to their tasks and areas, in addition to other
safety programs required by the New Brunswick Construction Safety Association.
    With work underway 24 hours a day, seven days a week until November, any
associated noise, odour and site impacts will be minimized as much as
possible. Refinery neighbours or others with questions and concerns are
encouraged to call the refinery's 24-hour information line at 202-3000.

    About Irving Oil

    Founded in 1924, Irving Oil 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, N.B., which is
located 65 miles north of the U.S border and has reached production rates in
excess of 300,000 barrels per day. The refinery exports over 80 per cent of
its production to the U.S., and accounts for 75 per cent of Canada's gasoline
exports to the U.S. and 19 per cent of all US gasoline imports. In 2003,
Irving Oil became the first oil company to receive a U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency Clean Air Excellence Award, for its clean gasoline.
    For more information about Irving Oil, visit www.irvingoil.com.




For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Lesley MacLeod, Irving Oil,
(506) 202-3924, lesley.macleod@irvingoil.com

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Irving Oil Operations Ltd.

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