September 23, 2020

N.B. refinery project could take 8 years

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Construction of a second Irving Oil refinery for Saint John, New Brunswick, would happen over a maximum of eight years, in hopes of easing the social pressures a huge rush of workers would cause for the city, the company said.

Kevin Scott, the Irving Oil senior executive in charge of building the refinery, said Thursday that the $8 billion project would still begin in 2011, but construction will stretch over up to eight years, rather than the original three or four years.

The huge refinery to be built a few miles outside the New Brunswick city will still eventually process 300,000 barrels of oil a day, making diesel fuel for Canadian and U.S. markets.

Scott said the company and its partner British giant BP are concerned due to shortages of skilled labor, higher costs of financing the project and an expected downturn in the North American economy, which will curtail future fuel demand.

“Should the project go ahead the construction would occur over two phases, during a longer six- to eight-year period, each phase would cost at least $4 billion and take three to four years to build and have a peak of 2,500 to 3,000 construction jobs,” the executive said in an interview.

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