The next turnaround at our Saint John, NB refinery is now underway and while it’s not as large in scope as last year’s Operation Falcon, it’s a significant project that will focus on several plants in the refinery’s Central Process.
The turnaround will last about six weeks, employing approximately 2,400 tradespeople from New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada in addition to our full-time employees already working at the refinery. Together, pipefitters, electricians, boilermakers, and other skilled workers will put in the equivalent of 417 annualized jobs in workforce hours, boosting the local economy by a potential $15 million.
We are pleased to invest $135 million in the 2016 turnaround; the project will enhance mechanical reliability within the units and improve plant operation.
Turnaround Manager Martin (Marty) Leger says the comradery among employees is already a highlight of Operation Red Fox.
“I enjoy working with this highly skilled group,” he says. “We have the same great team of people that join us from many regions – especially across New Brunswick – year after year. As they join us onsite, it’s a fun atmosphere – like getting together at an annual family reunion, shaking hands and finding out what’s happened over the last year.”
Marty says he expects the turnaround to fly by.
“Turnarounds are exciting,” he says. “I guess I am a bit of an adrenaline junky, and I like the high intensity and the fast-paced environment. Some people think that I am crazy, and maybe that’s true – I do kayak down the Reversing Falls.”
In terms of challenges, Marty says the 2016 turnaround is highly complex and requires an incredible amount of planning and preparation.
“We are performing all of the work in a relatively small geographical area within a short duration,” he says. “With a short amount of time means there really is no room for error. I guess this gets back to why I am excited to have the skilled team that we do. This is my 12th turnaround and I am fortunate to see many of the same faces year after year. That really is an advantage for us.”
Turnaround crew members will participate in extensive safety training orientation sessions prior to beginning work, ensuring the refinery’s strong safety culture is maintained throughout the project.