Federated Co-operatives Ltd. moves ahead with Regina refinery expansion

0 293 Labour

by Richard Gilbert

Federated Co-operatives Ltd., the largest non-financial co-operative in the country, has announced a nearly $2 billion expansion to its oil refinery in Regina.

Natural Resources

Federated Co-operatives Ltd., the largest non-financial co-operative in the country, has announced a nearly $2 billion expansion to its oil refinery in Regina.

Saskatoon-based Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) provides central marketing services including manufacturing, wholesaling and distribution to approximately 275 retail co-operatives located throughout Western Canada.

These retail co-operatives and their branches operate in more than 500 communities, providing a variety of products and services to more than 1,200,000 individual co-op members.

Consumers’ Co-operative Refineries Limited (CCRL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FCL.

Located in Regina, CCRL, is planning a huge expansion to it’s refinery to ensure that their gas retailers have a long-term supply of gasoline and diesel fuel for Co-op’s members.

“The expansion includes the addition of a whole new refinery. In addition there will be revamps to existing units,” said Scott Banda, the vice-president of corporate affairs at FCL. “We are in final engineering and all initial work is done. Over the next year final design will be in place.”

Banda said there are some modifications that will have to be made at the current refinery, which will start in 2008/09 and will be completed by 2011.

The new section of the refinery is scheduled for completion in 2012. The project will expand the refinery’s capacity by 30 per cent, from 100,000 to 130,000 barrels of oil per day.

With construction booming across western Canada, finding workers in all the required trades may be a serious challenge.

“The planned construction period is longer, because we are expecting delays due to labour shortage,” Banda said.

“We will draw on any labour pool that is available and ready to work.”

Three general contractors will lead the construction process on different sections of the modification and expansion. It is estimated that 1,200 construction workers will be employed on the project at the peak of construction activity.

Once completed, the project will create 70-100 full time jobs. CCRL currently employs about 530 people. The company employs and contracts more than 1,000 additional people during peak maintenance periods.

The CCRL has a unique business model as the world’s first co-operatively owned refinery.

The CCRL was incorporated on April 1, 1934, with the mission to supply local co-operative associations with quality petroleum products.

Operations began on May 27, 1935, with production of 500 barrels of crude oil per day.

CCRL’s facilities have grown rapidly since those early days and the company has increased the scope of its operation to include the distribution and sales of its petroleum products through the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS).

Over the last two decades, CCRL has responded to the growing petroleum product sales of the CRS by more than tripling the number of barrels of crude oil that are processed each calendar day.

The new facilities are being built to ensure that CCRL produces adequate volumes of products to fulfill its mission of service to the CRS.

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