Irving Oil Refinery begins $50 million turnaround

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 07 Sep 2011 12:37
Tags: canada irving refinery


Over the next 12 weeks, 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 $50 million investment. The work will involve maintenance and upgrading work on several units in the refinery’s North and South Process areas.

In total, around 1,000 people will be directly involved with the turnaround, including 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 these trades people are from New Brunswick.

Most of the work will focus on the refinery’s Butamer and Alkylation Units. The Butamer Unit converts butane to alkylation plant feedstock. The Alkylation Units refine less useable oil products into high octane blending material, called Aklylate, which is the key ingredient in premium gasoline. The turnaround will also include other maintenance.

“This investment will ensure our refinery continues to operate safely, reliably and cleanly,” says Mark Sherman, General Manager of the Irving Oil Refinery. “Turnarounds are critical to maintaining the reliability of our refinery’s units, but they’re also important to the broader community through the jobs and spin-offs they bring.”

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.

Turnaround Fast Facts

  • Work on the turnaround will take place around the clock for 12 weeks and is expected to be complete by end of November. In total, the project will represent 350,000 workforce hours.
  • The $50 million turnaround will include work to the refinery’s Butamer Unit, Alkylation Units #1 & #2 and the Sulphuric Acid Regeneration Unit. All units are located within the North and South Process Areas of the refinery.
  • In total, around 1,000 people will be directly involved with the turnaround, including additional electricians, pipefitters, boilermakers, instrument technicians, labourers, insulators, millwrights, carpenters, bricklayers, iron workers, surveyors and operating engineers.
  • The Irving Oil Refinery will continue to meet the needs of its customers throughout the course of the project.

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