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Hundreds of jobs to be lost as Shell decides to close its Montreal refinery

From The Canadian Press, June 04, 2010

MONTREAL – Hundreds of employees are about to lose their jobs after Shell Canada decided to close its Montreal refinery.

The Calgary-based petroleum giant says it will convert the operations in eastern Montreal to a distribution terminal after rejecting two “expressions of interest” submitted before its Tuesday deadline.

Shell didn’t immediately say when the conversion will take place.

The decision is a blow to 500 employees and an estimated 2,500 indirect jobs. Once it closes, about 30 jobs will remain at the terminal that will distribute Shell products.

The company says it will no longer pursue discussions with the interested parties, whose offers represented “a significant valuation gap” with its expectations.

The company originally announced its plans to close the 76-year-old refinery in January.

It then agreed to delay the decision to June to give a committee headed by former senator Michael Fortier time to find potential buyers.

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