Suncor employees are pleased with the National Energy Board’s final approval for Enbridge to start delivering oil from Western Canada through its Line 9B pipeline to Montreal. Line 9b will allow supply options, as well as access to inland crudes, providing operational flexibility for our refinery in Montreal.
Access to more affordable inland crudes has been limited to us by train and, on occasion, by ship since 2014, while more expensive foreign crudes have been supplied through the Portland Montreal Pipeline. This was causing a negative impact on the competiveness of our refinery because other North American refineries had the ability to process cheaper Western crudes.
“With access to the St. Lawrence Seaway we have what is known as a ‘tidewater location.’ Competition in this particular market is fierce. Finished products such as gasoline and diesel can be imported into Quebec. Seeing as we are currently paying more for our crude but are selling our products at the same price as our competitors, we are at a disadvantage, but Line 9B will change this and improve our profitability,” said Jean Côté, vice-president of the Montreal refinery.
Once Line 9B is operational, this inland crude will make up a large part of our supply.
With over 400 permanent employees and 300 contractual workers, this is welcome news as it will help our refinery be more secure and competitive. We will continue to provide refined petroleum products for consumers and businesses in Quebec and Ontario, as well as deliver by-products like xylene, which is essential to the polyester chain, a key component of the petrochemical industry in the East Montreal area.
We appreciate that Enbridge is strongly committed to the safety and integrity of its pipeline operations, which aligns with our values.
In 2015, as we celebrate our Montreal refinery’s 60th anniversary, you can’t help but notice how modern and high-tech it looks. Continuous improvements and significant investments to increase our reliability and effectiveness are largely responsible for our state-of-the-art refinery.
In 1955, when the Montreal refinery started its operations, Maurice Duplessis was the Premier of Quebec when our facility was officially inaugurated. Pointe-aux-trembles was not part of the City of Montreal, Highway 40 did not exist and Sherbrooke Street stopped near our door steps. Except for isolated farms and cottages, no houses, businesses or plants were close to our refinery.
In the ‘50s, the refinery had the capacity to produce 20,000 barrels per day of finished products, which mainly consisted of gas, diesel and home heating oil. It was one of the most modern refineries in North America.
Today, it remains a high-tech refinery with an increased production capacity of nearly 140,000 barrels per day. 60 years later, we also remain an important asset to Suncor. All of our employees are committed to operational excellence, dedicated to the community and the environment, and ensure a continuous contribution to the economy of Montreal and Quebec.
In 1954, when our refinery was being built, the Metropolitan Boulevard was just a dirt road. Only pasturing cows were watching the workers busy at work constructing our facility.
Today, we are at the heart of a densely populated area – pumps, compressors, air coolers, vents and pump trucks generate what is called the refinery rumble. Our noise studies in 2007 and 2013 have shown that this rumbling was maintained on average at 58 decibels (dB), despite increasing operations.
During the day, the noise we generate is lost amongst the background noise from the city, but at night, there remains only ours and this is why we remain very vigilant when it comes to noise.
Keeping quiet measures
Various departments of the refinery have invested time and energy in noise prevention initiatives. For example, following the addition of new crude oil and distillate transfer pumps in our south terminal, we have been busy installing a sound barrier and an acoustic cover on the pipes that will reduce the noise by 18 dB.
Another example is the installation of silencers for some steam vents. When it is required to reduce noise impacts, we change the working schedule or method in the execution of our maintenance work.
In the summer of 2015, we conducted noise tests to help us identify which were the largest contributors to the 58 dB rumble coming from our refinery and temporary operations. We are actively working to reduce their noise impacts and the results look promising.
Michel Forrest, respected community volunteer and long-time employee of Suncor, was honoured last August with the Medal of the Quebec National Assembly for his exceptional community engagement.
During a special ceremony in Pointe-aux-Trembles on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, Nicole Léger, Member of the National Assembly, together with Pierre-Karl Péladeau, the Opposition Leader, gave Michel this medal as a token of appreciation for his 28 years of social and human engagement with youth and the community.
“For his generosity, simplicity and humanism, Michel Forrest cultivates social solidarity around him. He is an outstanding ambassador of whom Suncor can be proud. He gives, as we say, more to his clients then they expect. Not only is he not counting his hours as a volunteer, but in fact he is not counting them any longer,” said Ms. Léger at the ceremony.
Maurice Vanier, a member of the Montreal refinery Liaison Citizens Industry Committee, was also honored at this special ceremony. The Medal of the Quebec National Assembly was given to him by Ms. Léger for his many accomplishments and for his leadership.
As a retired priest-worker, Maurice has worked for many years in different fields and for many community organizations. He has also been the Mayor of Pointe-aux-Trembles.
Congratulations Michel Forrest and Maurice Vanier.
What do Alexandre Bilodeau, Hayley Wickenheiser, Chantel Benoit and Patrick Chan all have in common? In addition to being inspirational and highly decorated Canadian Olympic or Paralympic athletes, they are also past FACE recipients. That’s right. All of these remarkable Canadians are among the many athletes and coaches who are past recipients of our Fuelling Athlete and Coaching Excellence (FACE) program.
This year, we are pleased to add to the list our 2015 FACE grant recipients – 50 athlete and coach pairings who will each receive $10,000 in financial support.
“From coast to coast, Canada has many outstanding athletes and coaches and we’re honoured to support tomorrow’s Team Canada,” said Marc Goodman, director, loyalty and strategic partnerships, Suncor. “Each year I’m inspired by the dedication of our FACE program recipients. Congratulations to the class of 2015.”
FACE helps young, emerging Canadian athletes and coaches dream big by providing the financial support needed to reach their ultimate athletic goals. What is unique about the FACE program though is that it supports Canadian athletes at the onset of their athletic journey, long before they become Olympic or Paralympic heroes and household names. Since 1988, we have provided more than $9.4 million dollars in funding to fuel the dreams of over 2,700 young Canadian Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.
Congratulations to all of the 2015 Petro-Canada FACE grant recipients. We look forward to seeing you on the Olympic and Paralympic podium in the years to come. To follow the personal stories and successes of these and past FACE athletes, join our Facebook page: Petro-Canada Fuels Athletes.
For more than 25 years, Petro-Canada has proudly supported thousands of Canadian athletes, coaches and their families. The FACE program is one of the many ways we show our support. Learn about our other programs on Petro-Canada’s website: