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The Irving Oil refinery in Saint John. Image: Submitted/Irving Oil

$190M maintenance project underway at Irving Oil refinery

By Brad Perry Sep 21, 2023 | 12:05 PM

A $190-million turnaround project is underway at Irving Oil’s refinery in Saint John.

Operation Ram is one of the refinery’s largest maintenance projects in recent years.

Kevin Scott, chief refining and supply officer, said turnarounds take several years of logistical planning.

“We get into detailed planning up to two years ahead of the turnaround,” Scott said in an interview.

We start to do engineering and buying equipment and planning the work right down to the shift so we can execute really efficiently once we’re underway.”

The maintenance projects focus on the safe, sustainable and reliable operations of the refinery, according to a company news release.

It takes the work of a lot of people to get all of the work done. An additional 2,300 skilled workers are on the site, many of them from New Brunswick and across Atlantic Canada.

“More than half, we expect, are from Atlantic Canada. There are 19 different skilled trades represented and 77 different companies that work with us on turnaround, and 50 of those companies from right here in New Brunswick.”

Scott said the company estimates the project will generate an estimated $8 million for the local economy.

Maintenance work began on Sunday and is scheduled to continue for seven weeks.