February 5, 2007

Irving initiates environmental permitting process for new Saint John refinery

After announcing last fall that it was seriously exploring the opportunity to build a second refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick (EcoWeek October 30, 2006), Irving Oil has initiated the environmental permitting process by filing a project description of its proposed new refinery for registration by the provincial and federal regulatory authorities. This step is intended to begin the provincial and federal environmental impact assessment processes that are expected to be required for the project.

The proposed new refinery, with a capacity of up to 300,000 barrels per day, would be located near the existing Irving Canaport deepwater crude receiving terminal in the Red Head area of Saint John. It would cost approximately $5-$7 billion to build and, together with the existing Saint John refinery, would create a combined total of up to 600,000 barrels per day of refining production capacity.

Environmental assessment under the New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment regulation and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act will involve a thorough review of the project that is expected to take between 12 and 24 months and will include public consultation.

Kevin Scott, the company's director of refining growth, said, "We remain committed to using the best available proven environmental technology in the proposed second refinery, and we will work with regulatory agencies as this project moves through what we expect will be a very rigorous environmental approval process."

While continuing to focus on the environmental and socio-economic studies required for the permitting process, Irving Oil will be moving to the next phase of conducting more detailed engineering studies, and will be evaluating potential partners.

In addition to the formal public involvement, Irving Oil is committed to sharing information and consulting the community on the refinery proposal and, to this end, will hold its first open house on the project in February.

More information on the project is available on Irving Oil's Web site, www.irvingoil.com, or by calling toll-free 1-888-525-1777.

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