Suncor starts major turnaround

Suncor Photo

Heather Wright/The Independent

Suncor Sarnia has started a major turnaround which will include four major heat exchangers taking a trip through St. Clair Township.

In a letter to township council, Stephen Muinda Suncor’s maintenance and reliability director says the turnaround which began Monday will employ up to 1,200 people who will complete more than 450,000 hours of labour.

The job is expected to pump $100 million into the economy, Muinda wrote.

“As part of the event, we are pulling four major heat exchangers out of service and sending them off site to be repaired,” Muinda wrote. “Completing these repairs ensures we can continue to operate in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner moving

Those heat exchangers which will weigh between 200,000 and 300,000 pounds will be carried on trailers which range from 120 to 135 feet long.

Muinda says the company is trying to ship the massive parts to Sarnia repair shops during the daylight hours, as St. Clair Township requires, but wanted township council to allow weekend and evening transportation if it was needed.

“The financial penalties of having a delay in transportation are significant as we cannot restart until this equipment is back on site and fully installed,” he wrote.

Council approved the request.

Suncor is expected to move the four units through St. Clair Township to Sarnia in early April with the heat exchangers returning to the St. Clair Parkway plant two or three weeks later.