Operation Falcon Q&A - Meet Marty Leger

Following Operation Falcon, Marty Leger will assume the role as our Refinery Turnaround Manger. We wish him all the best in his new role. 

Following Operation Falcon, Marty Leger will assume the role as our Refinery Turnaround Manger. We wish him all the best in his new role. 

Tell us about your career.

I've been with Irving Oil since 2005. Before joining the Operation Falcon Turnaround Team, I was the Area Maintenance Manager for Central Process. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Université de Moncton and my Masters in Business Administration from the University of New Brunswick in Saint John in 2013.

Where is your hometown?

I am from Grand Barachois, NB.

Tell us about your family.

I am married. My wife Kristy and I have a daughter, 3, and a son who is a year old. 

What is your favourite food? 

Growing up near Shediac, of course it would be seafood - lobster, crab, anything!

What are your hobbies?

Sea kayaking and whitewater kayaking. I also enjoy woodworking and small projects around the house. 

What is the best part of your job? 

The best part of my job is seeing the results and accomplishments at the end of the job or project. 

How is working a turnaround different than day-to-day work?

It's a different pace. It's a 24 hour operation with quick decision-making and reaction time. It is complex due to the sheer volume of work and the resources in a small duration of time. 

Any Mentors?

My biggest mentors were my uncles and their great work ethic. 

What was your biggest accomplishment?

Finishing my MBA program. I was juggling a new job; we just had a baby (our daughter) and I was working on my MBA. It was a challenging time. 

What are your reasons for working safely?

I work safely so that I can go home to my wife and kids every day, and I don't like to get hurt...

Any closing remarks you'd like to share as we begin to wrap up Operation Falcon?

This is my tenth year with Irving Oil and this is definitely the largest and most complex turnaround that I've worked. It's amazing to see the years of planning and the different aspects of the project tie together. Everything from supplies, logistics and resources to the scope of work all wrapping into one project executed in just 45-50 days.  

Helmets to Hardhats - Operation Falcon Q&A with Jeff Godin

Jeff Godin: Reservist, Veteran and now Steam Fitter – Pipe Fitter working the Operation Falcon turnaround

Jeff Godin: Reservist, Veteran and now Steam Fitter – Pipe Fitter working the Operation Falcon turnaround


When did you enter the Helmets to Hardhats program & what trade are you pursuing?

I entered the program in 2009 and I am a Steam Fitter – Pipe Fitter.

What is your service history?

I served in the reserves, from 1990 to 1995 and then served the regular forces from 1995 to 2000.

What drew you to the program?

Initially, my father was a steam fitter – pipe fitter for 35 years, that got me interested in the trades and then when I found out about the Helmets to Hardhats program it just made it easier. It provides a great opportunity to make the transition from military life to civilian life and depending on how long you served, that transition can be quite difficult.

What have you found most interesting about the turnaround?

The number of people that are here and how organized it is.

What projects have you been involved in for the Operation Falcon Turnaround?

There have been a number of projects ranging from ‘bolt ups’ (values), welding and pipe fitting, steam tracing. We’ve been doing a lot of different things which keeps the works interesting.

What are your reasons for working safely, both on and off site?

My most important reason is my family, you need to come into work and leave the same way you came in and that should be important to everybody.

Are you a native to New Brunswick? Where is your hometown?

I am a native to Saint John. I am very lucky, a lot of folks have to travel out west who have families and kids and that is difficult. Having been in the military, I can relate to that.

How do you like to relax when you’re not working?

I have a dog at home, she keeps me busy and I like to golf. Sometimes I just like to take it easy and watch the baseball or hockey game.

Find out more about the helmets to Hardhats program at: www.helmetstohardhats.ca

5 Questions with Nancy Tissington from Uptown Saint John

Nancy Tissington, Executive Director of Uptown Saint John Inc. 

Nancy Tissington, Executive Director of Uptown Saint John Inc. 


What is Uptown Saint John Inc.?

We represent about 650 business in a geographically defined 20 block area. Covering a large part of Uptown Saint John, our target area is described as the central business district, or the main “hub” of the peninsula. We are a not for profit, operating through a levy from business owners that is legislated and collected by the government on our behalf. We use these funds to deliver a wide array of services to the businesses in our geographic area. Day to day we advocate for our business; this can be on issues ranging from the environment, to city beautification. We also work with our partners to provide clean and safe streets along with marketing for the district. This in addition to creating the space for urban design and development.


Operation Falcon is occurring now – with 2,700+ workers, many coming from out of town, what is your pitch for coming uptown to spend free-time?

If you want to get the essence of Saint John, and get the cultural experience, you absolutely have to come uptown. Being in the Uptown connects you to the city, to the restaurants and the chefs, the theatre and so much more. We are such a walkable city, even with the shortest, steepest hill on a main street in Canada.

But even so, at both ends of the hill we have major assets; the Port and the Bay of Fundy at the bottom, King’s Square sitting at the top, and so much more in between. From the City Market, a historical treasure from the 1800’s to all the boutique shops, there really is so much to explore.

If you want to catch the buzz – the hum – Uptown really is the place to be. As the saying goes, you really can live, work and play right here in the core of our city.


You’ve mentioned that Saint John feels like it’s on the cusp of something big. What do you mean by that?    

Operation Falcon certainly has something to do with it. We often hear about potential for new jobs, and new growth, but it’s amazing to see it actually come to light. When people are actually coming in, and we have numbers and timelines to show it, it gives the city a lot of hope. It shows that we aren’t a city where everyone is getting up and leaving, we are creating a pull and people are staying.

But this goes beyond just the energy and industrial sectors. With the growth of ICT in Saint John, the upcoming port expansion and the new call centers coming to Uptown there is so much happening all across the board.


The Chop Chop restaurant festival is wrapping up this weekend, can you tell us a bit more about it?

Saint John has so many wonderful restaurants, and Chop Chop is our chance to show them off. For a full week, restaurants will put on fixed menus, at fixed prices, with a dollar from each purchase going to support Lunch Connection, a program providing free hot lunches to deserving children and Youth.

This year, we put a new twist on the event by placing the focus on the amazing chefs who prepare the incredible dishes. I’ve heard so many stories of people coming from Moncton and Fredericton just to enjoy a special meal at one of our restaurants, so it’s wonderful to celebrate the people who are making that happen for our city. The event wraps up Nov. 8!

For more info, menus and prices, check out www.chopchopsj.com

To see some of the delicious creations from Saint John Chefs, check out www.instagram.com/uptownsaintjohn   


We’re chatting in your new office space on Canterbury Street, why the move?

We’re stepping up our game, and continuing to work with partners to build strong ties in the community. This new space, accessible on street level, will have room to incubate new ideas and new business. WE can have people come in, share our home, and use the window’s to display marketing collateral as they look to build and grow their business. It will also allow us to host mixers, and increase our visibility and presence within the bustling uptown core.          


Operation Falcon - From Farm to Table

Food. Prosperity. Family. Home. This Operation Falcon video is a shout out to our workers, our hometown and the Maritime companies who help us succeed. Thank you. Merci.

We followed Sizzler BBQ on a voyage from PEI to Saint John to bring you the inside scoop on the midflight celebration thrown for the thousands of workers who are making the historic turnaround possible. Have a look and a listen as the video brings you real stories of Maritime hospitality, work ethic and families.

Behind the Scenes of an Epic BBQ

There’s nothing like an #OpFalcon BBQ!

There’s nothing like an #OpFalcon BBQ!

Ever wonder how thousands of hungry workers get fed? What it takes to create an epic BBQ? How the Operation Falcon workers feel about working in their Atlantic Canadian home territory versus out west? Well … very soon we’ll be giving you an inside glimpse into that story through a video we recently shot. The footage was captured as we celebrated the midway point of the historic turnaround with a noon and midnight BBQ.

In the meantime, we thought we’d take you behind-the-scenes of the video shoot that took us from Prince Edward Island to Saint John, New Brunswick. The snaps below capture some of the moments you’ll see on video this week. From crossing the Confederation Bridge to having lunch with a huge crowd, we’re excited to give you a preview of what you’ll be watching very soon.

For more behind-the-scenes photos, check out our album.

We travelled over the famed bridge to Prince Edward Island to tell the story of Atlantic Canadian businesses.

We travelled over the famed bridge to Prince Edward Island to tell the story of Atlantic Canadian businesses.

Sizzling up some food to feed the thousands of people involved in the historic turnaround. Thanks to all involved.

Sizzling up some food to feed the thousands of people involved in the historic turnaround. Thanks to all involved.

The harder you work, the hungrier you get, #OpFalcon.

The harder you work, the hungrier you get, #OpFalcon.

How big is your lunchroom at work? #OpFalcon

How big is your lunchroom at work? #OpFalcon

From Blueberries to Falcons: A Family Tradition at Irving Oil

L-R: Alvida Richard (father), Renald Richard (son), Jamie Richard (grandson), Dylan Hachey (grandson) and Lyndon Hachey (son-in-law)

L-R: Alvida Richard (father), Renald Richard (son), Jamie Richard (grandson), Dylan Hachey (grandson) and Lyndon Hachey (son-in-law)

Three generations, one family, one shared sense of responsibility and ethics. That’s how we’d describe Alvida Richard and his family, as they make Saint John home during Operation Falcon.

(Our thanks to their hometown of Brantville - near Tracadie - for lending us the family for this historic turnaround too).

As a spry, cheerful and energetic 71 year old, Alvida has worked on turnarounds at our refinery since 2007. He brings a wealth of experiences and a strong sense of family, ethics, honesty and respect with him every time.

“One could say we didn’t have an easy life,” says Alvida, as he reminisces about his childhood, how his brother died in a fire when he was ten and how his mother passed away when he was just 11 years old. Following these tragedies, families in the community then raised Alvida and his siblings.

After all this, Alvida has built a strong family foundation. He and his wife Cecilia have been married for 53 years.

“We married when I was 18. I guess you could say she was my first love,” says Alvida.

They now have four grown children and a daughter who passed away of cancer when she was 33 years old.

Alvida’s values seem to be hereditary. His oldest son, Renald, doesn’t mind working the long night shift.

“I’ve been a blueberry farmer all of my life and it is hard work - 15 hour days. These shorter shifts are easier,” says Renald. “It’s a very professional respectful workplace at Irving Oil and the people working here are like family."

“Alvida’s son-in-law, Lyndon Hachey, started working in the woods when he was 15 years old. He is teaching his sons and nephew the tricks of the trade.

“I am teaching them all the tricks, especially when it comes to confined space,” says Lyndon. “People call me the ratman. I can get in every pipe and every hole.”

Jamie Richard (Renald’s son) says that his grandfather taught them that fatigue is not part of their vocabulary. “My fiancé Monique and I have two daughters, a 3 year old and a newborn.” says Jamie. “I wasn’t sure I’d work this turnaround, but I saw my cousin, my uncle, my father and grandfather coming here to work and I thought if they can be here, so can I.”

The youngest of the five, Dylan Hachey, says that his father and grandfather taught him that you can learn and do anything if you are willing.

“Be punctual and be positive so that people want you to come back. When you are given a job to do, do it well and make sure they can count on you.”

Alvida and his family share similar values to that of Irving Oil. “We believe in demonstrating commitment; keeping our word; respecting people as individuals.”

They all speak to the same work ethic: with any job you have to give it your all - 110 per cent. They are happy to be part of Operation Falcon at Irving Oil. Working with Jacobs, they noted that they are part of a great team with great supervisors. And, most importantly, they take safety very seriously, saying that no one in the family has ever been injured on the job.

Thanks gentlemen. It was a pleasure to meet you and we look forward to seeing you again!

Fier d’être de retour

M. Jean-Guy Allain est chaudronnier depuis 33 ans, comme son père avant lui, son frère et neveu.  Il a fait sa carrière comme bien d’autres, soit en travaillant ici au Nouveau-Brunswick tout en voyageant dans l’Ouest canadien.  Depuis 1982, Jean-Guy revient travailler année après année à la raffinerie de pétrole de Saint John. De bons processus et le respect accordé aux employés sont des raisons que contribuent au retour de Jean-Guy à chaque année.  « Les opérations à la raffinerie sont bien organisées et celle-ci donne la chance d’apprendre.  J’ai commencé comme tous les autres, en bas de l’échelle, en tant qu’apprenti, et aujourd’hui, je suis coordonnateur» dit-il.  Comme coordonnateur, il participe à la planification de travaux  pour des projets tels que celui du projet Opération Faucon.  Ce projet s’agit du plus grand projet de réaménagement de l’histoire d’Irving Oil.  

Les investissements, comme celui d’Irving Oil et leur projet Opération Faucon, sont très importants et avantageux, non seulement à Saint John, mais à chaque village et ville au Nouveau-Brunswick.  « Au lieu de travailler dans l’Ouest, les gens ont la chance de travailler ici, ce qui fait que l’argent reste ici.  C’est bon pour les entreprises et l’économie de la province en général. »  Jean-Guy affirme : « Quand j’ai la chance de travailler ici, je travaille ici ».  

« Je suis content d’être ici », dit Jean-Guy.  Il est heureux de faire partie de l’équipe à la raffinerie de Saint John.  « Tu viens à connaître les gens, les employés sont souvent les mêmes qui reviennent à chaque automne, donc tu fais de bons amis » dit-il.   Aussi, il est content  d’avoir l’occasion de travailler à une heure et demie de Bouctouche, où il demeure avec son épouse et est aussi exploitant de terrain de camping pendant la saison estivale.  Jean-Guy est surtout heureux d’être près de sa fille de 29 ans, Mélanie, qui est maintenant médecin de famille à Rexton.  

Pendant ses temps libres, il aime voyager avec son épouse, aller à la chasse avec ses amis de jeunesse et faire du camping.  Jean-Guy va continuer de faire la navette entre l’Ouest et le Nouveau-Brunswick, mais il est toujours heureux de revenir et de rejoindre sa famille en profitant du homard et d’être près de la mer, du fond de la magnifique baie à Bouctouche. 


Operation Falcon Q&A: Meet Wayne Martin

Meet Wayne Martin, the Night Supervisor with Atlantic Industrial Cleaners, working on Operation Falcon. With twins and triplets at home, we took a few minutes to learn more about life with the Martin family.    


What is your job?

I am the Night Supervisor with Atlantic Industrial Cleaners (AIC). We look after chemical cleaning, industrial vacuuming, high pressure water blasting and cutting as well as hydro excavations. 

Where is your hometown?

Right here in Saint John.

Tell us about your Family.

I have twins (18) and Triplets (15). Their birthdays are all on the same day. They were in Ripley's Believe it or Not.

Any pets?

Two dogs, two cats.  

What are your favourite foods?

I love to cook and eat. I am a really good cook and I like to explore with new types of food. I Love all food, even brussels sprouts!

What are your reasons for working safely?

I can't get hurt, because I need to work to take care of my family. 

What are your hobbies?

I am a big live music fan. I've travelled far and wide and I have seen over 100 Grateful Dead shows - even as far away as Europe. 

What brings you to Irving Oil? 

I'm here for Operation Falcon. It's a huge turnaround and I'm proud to be a part of it. It feels like we are one big team. It's all about getting the job done! I love the Maritimes! I've travelled around the world and you can't beat this place with the bay and the fresh water. We have the best waterways anywhere in the world. 

Video: Delivering the Reactor Head

The biggest turnaround in Irving Oil history deserves its very own amazing aerial video.  We thought this stunning footage of the project in action would be fascinating to anyone eager to get a glimpse of what goes on during a massive undertaking like this one.

In this video, we see the new reactor head being delivered to the refinery in Saint John with the help of a barge, a truck and some of our 2,700+ workers.

If you enjoyed this video, stay tuned. We’re working on a new one to showcase just what it takes to celebrate the project with a BBQ for thousands.

Operation Falcon Q&A: Meet Chelsea Britt

Meet Chelsea Britt, an electrician who sat down with us to talk about the Turnaround, what sparks her interests, and her reasons for working safely.

Q. What is your Trade?
A.  I am an electrician. I started working at Irving Oil with Jacobs in 2010. I am working the night shift during this fall’s Operation Falcon Turnaround.

Q. What is your hometown?
A. I was born in Saint John and grew up in Hampton.

Q. Tell us about your family?
A. Besides my mom and dad, I have a younger sister and an older brother. My boyfriend Alex Long works as an operator in North Process.

Q. Do you have any pets?
A. No pets yet, but someday I really hope to have a dog, a husky.

Q. What do you like to cook?
A. I like to bake cookies and cupcakes.

Q. What are your reasons for working safely?
A. I want to work safely and I want others to work safely so we can go home to the people we care most about. I try to stay aware of my surroundings as much as possible. I ask questions if I don’t know.

Q. What do you like to read and watch on TV?
A. I like to read Harry Potter books. I watch Big Brother and Modern Family.

Q. What are your hobbies?
A. I like to stay active. I play soccer, volleyball, and I go to the gym regularly. I like to travel. I’ve been down south, visiting some great cities to see sporting events, and I hope to go to Australia and Europe some day.

Q. What brings you to Irving Oil?
A. It’s nice to be 20 minutes away from home and not have to go out west to work. The people here are great and there is so much to learn. You get to see or learn something new every day.

Operation Falcon Worker Q&A: Meet Eric Lanteigne

It's no secret Operation Falcon is being carried by dedicated and skilled employees. Many have returned from out west to New Brunswick to add their talents to the operation. We caught up with Eric Lanteigne who filled us in on how he's spending his time now that he's home.

Eric Lanteigne

Eric Lanteigne

Q. What is your Trade?

A. I am a Journeyman Scaffolder (day shift) with Jacobs during Operation Falcon.

Q. What is your hometown?

A. I’m from Allanville, Miramichi.

Q. Do you have any pets?

A. I have a cat, Mimioune. She showed up at my door one day and stayed. I actually live in the house and she lives in the cabin. I go there every day to look after her.

Q. Who do you enjoy spending time with?

A. I have two nieces and a nephew that I spend a lot of time with, Emma, Kayla and Julian.

Q. What are your favorite foods?

A. I like to cook - fresh salads, rib steaks, anything grilled or steamed.

Q. What are your reasons for working safely?

A. Working safely is a big sign of respect for yourself and for others. I don’t want anyone to get hurt and I don’t want to get hurt. There is still too many things I want to accomplish, so many goals in life.

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. I spend a lot of time outside and at my camp. I own three woodlots and I cut wood which I’ve done since I was 16 years old. I am buying a portable mill and starting my own business. I enjoy ATVing camping, fishing, and hunting. I play (and collect) guitars. I have two motorcycles.

Q. What brings you to Irving Oil?

A. I worked out west and like being home. It is a more balanced lifestyle. There is a decent dollar to be made here at home.

5 Questions with Victoria Clarke from Discover Saint John

To get a better idea of the impacts Operation Falcon is having on tourism in Saint John, our Falcon Journal staff chatted with Victoria Clarke, the Executive Director of Discover Saint John. Discover Saint John is the region’s destination marketing engine, working to promote Saint John and surrounding region, as a great place to spend your leisure time, and host a conference or major event.  

Victoria showing off her #OpFalcon t-shirt. Get your's for free by signing up on our homepage; then take a #OpFalcon selfie and post it to your social feeds for a chance to win an Irving Oil gift card.  

Victoria showing off her #OpFalcon t-shirt. Get your's for free by signing up on our homepage; then take a #OpFalcon selfie and post it to your social feeds for a chance to win an Irving Oil gift card.  

Q. What message would you like to share with the thousands of out of town workers coming to Saint John for Operation Falcon?

A. Welcome! We are delighted to host all of you and we sincerely hope you take some time to explore Saint John – a true East Coast gem.


Q. Operation Falcon started a few weeks ago, how has this influx of people impacted tourist destinations, small businesses, and other local vendors?

A. September and October are traditionally busy months for the city from a cruise and convention perspective, so adding Operation Falcon should be icing on the cake. 


Q. If the Operation Falcon Workers have some downtime in the city, what would you recommend they do/see/explore?

A. There are so many ways to experience Saint John. If you love the outdoors, the Irving Nature Park is perfect for hiking and viewing the stunning Bay of Fundy coast. The trail system in Rockwood Park is second to none. Or, enjoy a walk or jog along the waterfront on Harbour Passage.  You can also be an urban explorer - take a walk through the historic streets of uptown Saint John, check out some of our art galleries, buy a little something at a local boutique or grab a pint at local watering hole.  You also cannot miss the Saint John City Market, Reversing Rapids or the New Brunswick Museum. Find them all on www.discoversaintjohn.com


Q. What does “Fuelled by Atlantic Canada” mean to you?

A. It’s about being a proud ambassador for your community. No one can sell Saint John or Atlantic Canada as well as the people who are proud to call it home.  Share the positive stories with friends, family and strangers.  Whether you’ve found an awesome new restaurant to try, or are excited about the benefits of a project like Operation Falcon, spread the word on the amazing things happening in our region.


Q. For those entering our selfie contest, what is your suggestion for the best place to take a selfie in Saint John?

A. The John Hooper statues at Barbours General Store are a huge hit with visitors or anything on the waterfront – we are the only city on the Bay of Fundy.



Engineering the Historic Turnaround

Meet Craig Webb. He loves his job and what it means for Saint John. Craig gives us an insider’s view into the largest turnaround in Irving Oil history and the “dollars being pumped into the economy” as a result.

Craig Web

Craig Web

Q.  What credentials and experience are required to oversee a job like this one?

A.   I am a mechanical engineer and I am responsible for coordinating all engineering aspects of the turnaround from performing equipment condition assessment to determining repair plans for equipment. I have been with Irving Oil since 2008 as a maintenance engineer and have been the lead turnaround engineer since 2012, having completed seven turnarounds. To perform this job you need to be familiar with various codes, standards and best practices relating to refining equipment design and repair and the more experience you have the better. I work with a team of engineers that assist me in providing 24 hour support for the turnaround. These folks assess equipment and provide repair instruction to the tradespeople. They are a great group of people!

Q.  How would you explain this project to the average person?

A.   This turnaround is the largest that has ever been completed in the history of Irving Oil in terms of spend and number of tradespeople that will be employed! It is classed as a Mega Turnaround by industry standards, with work happening 24 hours per day for approximately 60 days. The scope of the work is renewing many pieces of refinery equipment as well as maintenance investment. We are replacing valves, piping components, instrumentation and electrical parts that will ensure asset reliability and maximize equipment up-time.

Q.  Which project milestones do you think are most interesting to the public and why?

A.   There are numerous capital projects that will be executed this fall which include the reactor head replacement in our fluid catalytic cracker, or resid cat cracker unit. The resid cat cracker is an important piece of the refining process because it helps produce additional gasoline. We removed the top of the reactor and the internal cyclones in one heavy lift, with the head cut off by means of high pressure water jet cutting. The water cutter traveled around the outer perimeter of the 30 foot diameter vessel cutting the head from the cylindrical body. (You can watch the video here .)

One of the other initiatives that we will be executing is the replacement of refractory lining; this will need 244 pallets or roughly 9 tractor trailer loads of refractory. The refractory is inside many pieces of equipment within our resid cat cracker and is used as a thermal barrier to protect the shell steel from intense heat (in some cases 1300 degrees Fahrenheit). It also helps protect the equipment from erosion. We will be executing the largest refractory scope that has ever been taken on in the history of turnarounds at Irving Oil. To put this in perspective the amount of lining that we'll be replacing would cover the complete main floor of approximately 12 standard bungalows with a 4" refractory layer. All of the old refractory has to be removed from the equipment by means of manual labour and jackhammers. Once removed, new steel anchors will have to be welded to the equipment and then the new refractory will be installed.

Q. How do you keep the site safe for workers?

A. We have a very strong safety culture at Irving Oil and there are many initiatives at our site that are used to keep our workers safe. One of the most important initiatives that we utilize is the Hazard Elimination Program. This program asks employees to eliminate any hazards they find throughout the work site that could lead to injury. A hazard could be a hose lying across a walking path or a tool that was left in a location where it could fall and hit someone or something. The hazard is considered eliminated when an action has been taken to correct it, such as relocating the hose to a location where it wouldn't pose a trip hazard or if the tool was relocated to an appropriate location such as the tool crib. The individuals then complete a Hazard Elimination card and pass it in to our safety department. These cards are counted on a daily basis and tracked by our Safety Department. Each week we provide coffee and donuts to all employees to either celebrate a successful week of no injuries or if there is an injury, we reflect on what the injury was and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. To date for this turnaround we have collected in excess of 4,559 hazard cards!

We also have a program called ACE. This program is a ‘no name, no blame’ program whereby trained onsite employees monitor a work task and evaluate the individual based on how safely they performed their task. The observer then shares their observations and compliments on positive aspects and coaches them on items that could be done in a safer manner.

Q.  What phase of the project do you find most rewarding and interesting to work on?

A.   All aspect of the turnaround preparation and execution are enjoyable but I find the execution phase of the project the most interesting and rewarding. You reap the rewards of the careful planning and preparations that in this case have been approximately two years in the making. The execution phase of the turnaround is very fast paced and demanding and there is a great deal of work being done in a short period of time.

Q.  Why are projects like this important to Saint John and the Maritimes?  

A. There are thousands of jobs created, there are many spin-offs to local businesses such as fabrication shops, industrial service suppliers, the hospitality industry, et cetera. Not only are there millions of dollars being pumped into the economy in the short term, but projects like these ensure the reliability and longevity of the assets and permanent jobs in the area.


Operation Falcon Worker Q&A: Meet Joel McLaughlin

Operation Falcon relies on talented and dedicated workers to get the job done. We like to get to know those who come to Saint John to work with us. This week, we caught up with Joel McLaughlin.

Joel McLaughlin. 

Joel McLaughlin. 

Q. What is your Trade?

A. I’ve been a Boilermaker for 16 years. I am working the night shift with Lorneville Mechanical during Operation Falcon.

Q. What is your hometown?

A. I am from Tracadie-Sheila.

Q. Family?

A. I have a girlfriend, Mireille, two kids, Jeff and Alex, and a dog.

Q. What are your reasons for working safely?

A. I work safely so I can support my family and spend time with them.

Q. What brings you to Irving Oil?

A. I’ve worked on turnarounds at Irving Oil since the expansion in 1999. Irving Oil provides a lot of jobs for people in New Brunswick, not just for boilermakers, but all trades. It is a good job and good people to work for. It’s a great company with lots of future projects.

Video: Operation Falcon Lift Off

Big things are happening in Saint John as Operation Falcon hits major milestones. Just this week we removed the old reactor head – which was no small feat. Moving enormous materials like this takes skill and planning and it's really worth seeing for yourself. That’s why we recorded the reactor lift in action, so you could get a sense of the enormity of the project. 

Meanwhile, we’re excited by all the Operation Falcon activities underway and how supportive the wider community has been. Follow us on Twitter @IrvingOil for daily #OpFalcon tweets and stay tuned for more news and features we’ll be posting right here.

A Dempster Family Tradition

Meet the Dempsters – two generations of hard-working southern New Brunswickers who value family, happy homes, and their unique history of working together in the trades.

 “I’ve been a pipefitter for 37 years and I’ve worked just about everywhere in the province where you can work,” says eldest, Ralph Dempster. “Working at the refinery means I get to stay close to my loved ones in the place I call home.”

Ralph and six other members of his family are working together again this year – like they have many times before – at the Irving Oil Refinery’s $200 million turnaround, dubbed Operation Falcon. This family tradition began back in the late 1980s.