Wednesday, April 18, 2012

County: Keep ConocoPhillips a Refinery

Delaware County Council unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday morning, stating that the future use of ConocoPhillips refinery should be a refinery – not a terminal.

County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, who introduced the resolution, said it would be in the best interest of the oil workers and residents of Delaware County to keep the site operating as a refinery because it would save more jobs.

“Delaware County Council deems the creation of jobs to be paramount to the health of the economy and the wellbeing of the residents, both in Delaware County and throughout southeast Pennsylvania,” McGarrigle said while reading the resolution. “Delaware County Council deems operation of the ConocoPhillips site in Trainer Borough as a refinery to be in the best interest of the welfare of its residents and supports that use.”

The resolution points to news reports that indicate up to five buyers are bidding to purchase the refinery. Of those five potential buyers, only one has indicated it would operate the refinery for the purpose of refining oil while the others want to use it as a terminal only, the resolution states.

McGarrigle said that a terminal would only employ 50 to 75 jobs but an oil refinery would employ hundreds of people.

Specifically, he said estimates indicate 650 contractors would be employed a day to prepare the refinery to resume oil refining operations.

Once the refinery is operational again, estimates indicate about 380 permanent jobs would be created for employees directly working for the purchaser and additional 100 permanent contracting jobs would be created.

McGarrigle said county council will be sending a copy of its resolution to ConocoPhillips officials.

Last September, ConocoPhillips idled its Trainer facility and eliminated its work force in January.

In addition, Sunoco Inc. idled its Marcus Hook facility in December and terminated most of its employees in February.

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