Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image (Canada): Shell would hire locally; but refinery is far from a done deal


Shell would look to the local labour pool first to fill the thousands of jobs needed to build and operate a new Shell refinery in St. Clair Township.

“Our first effort would be to hire as many local people as possible,” said Amrik Ahluwalia, general manager of Shell’s St. Clair refinery project.

The multibillion-dollar oil refinery proposed for construction near Courtright would employ 450 to 850 full-time workers. In addition, between 2,000 to 4,000 tradesmen would be required for each of the four- to five-year construction phase, not 7,500 to 9,000 construction workers as previously reported.

Currently, about 300 employees and contractors are employed at Shell Canada’s refinery near Corunna. If Shell decides to build the new facility, that number would surge to between 450 and 850, Ahluwalia said.

“This will be the total employment . . . after we amalgamate the two (refineries) together.”

Although the company would look to hire locally first, Ahluwalia expects they would also have to look outside the area for skilled workers.

“This is a gargantuan project, a project Ontario hasn’t seen in the last 25 years,” he said.

Shell Canada has optioned about 2,400 hectares (nine square miles) of property south of Courtright for the proposed refinery.

However, it’s far from a done deal, Ahluwalia stressed.

“There is a lot of uncertainty. There is a real possibility that this project may not go.”

Ahluwalia said there is “fierce” competition for resources within the parent company, Royal Dutch Shell.

“This is not an approved project . . . it’s far from decided.”

He said the company will look at a number of factors, including economics, environmental impact and social impact to the community. The amount of support this proposed project has received from the public and municipal leaders has helped, Ahluwalia said.

“That plays a role in the decision.” and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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