Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Quebec court delays closure of Shell refinery


A Quebec court has extended an injunction on Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s plans to close its Montreal refinery in a partial victory for the plant’s union as it tries to save about 500 jobs.

Shell, which aims to turn the refinery into a fuel terminal, is prevented from doing so until Sept. 10.

The decision comes as Shell took out full-page ads in four Montreal newspapers detailing its efforts to find a buyer for the 77-year-old refinery and how it could not reach a deal.

“This is pretty good news for the union,” said Catherine Escojido, spokeswoman for Local 121 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers.

Ms. Escojido said talks could continue with one suitor for the 130,000 barrel a day plant, which she declined to name. Quebec media have identified the company as Delek U.S. Holdings, an arm of Israel’s Delek Group.

Reports last month said Delek had doubled its offer to $150-million, but the two sides did not reach a deal.

Shell said it is no longer in talks with any third party, and intends to proceed with dismantling the plant when the injunction expires.

“The only party that is actually able to sell the refinery is Shell. It’s our refinery and we’re not in discussions with anybody any longer regarding that,” Shell spokesman Larry Lalonde said.

“Our intention now is, after the last party withdrew from the discussions, is we want to go forward with plans for converting the refinery to a terminal.”

Shell had announced plans to shut the refinery in January after finding no suitable buyer, but at the request of the Quebec government it gave potential suitors more time to make proposals with the assistance of a government-appointed special committee.

The process wrapped up on June 1 with no sale. However, last month the head of the special committee searching for a buyer said a final bidder had increased its offer after its initial bid was rejected. Talks ended on June 30.

In the newspaper ads, the head of Shell’s Canadian operations, Lorraine Mitchelmore, said any buyer would have to finance the acquisition, and require as much as $500-million for working capital and another $600-million in needed capital investments.

“Unfortunately, we could not justify the required significant costs to safely operate it as a refinery in the future, and potential buyers likely had similar concerns and so were unwilling to make the investment needed,” Ms. Mitchelmore said.

The Montreal plant is one of a number in North America targeted for sale or closure as oil companies struggle with weak profit margins. But in recent months some buyers have emerged for some refining operations.


This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.