Valero Refinery to close

November 21st, 2009

Back to Delaware for the weekend, it’s very strange being here on the east coast and Alan’s in Red Wing with the grrrrrrrrrls.  And speak of the devil, guess who’s in the Philadelphia Inquirer today?  The Valero refinery shut down, one of our neighbors works there, well, I’d guess a lot of our neighbors in Port Penn work there, it’s just up the road, they’ve been shut down for a couple of weeks, and now it’s forever.  I’m curious what Valero will do — $50 says the try to find a way to walk away from the mess they’ve created.  Nearby wells have been contaminated and people are just starting to look around for the source.    We’ll see…


Posted on Sat, Nov. 21, 2009

550 to lose jobs as Valero Energy shuts Delaware refinery

By Harold Brubaker, Jan Hefler, and Jane M. Von Bergen

Inquirer Staff Writers

Oil-refinery workers on the Delaware River yesterday received their second big blow in six weeks, when Valero Energy Corp. said it would close its operation in Delaware City, Del., casting 550 out of work.

When workers heard the news, “it was like a time bomb went off,” said Matt Edler, who has worked for 10 years at the refinery that rises out of the lowlands near the Delaware River in southern New Castle County.

“My grandfather worked there, my father, and I worked there,” said Edler, who yesterday afternoon joined other shocked refinery workers at Red Lion Inn in Bear, Del. “We were all doing the best we could to keep the place alive. That’s our life.”

The loss of Valero as a provider of high-wage industrial jobs adds to the economic woes in Delaware caused by the recent loss of 2,000 auto-industry jobs at General Motors and Chrysler plants.

Coupled with Sunoco Inc.’s idling of its Eagle Point refinery in West Deptford, Valero’s decision shows the refining industry is under intense pressure, not just from the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, but also from expectations that U.S. gasoline demand will never return to the highs of 2007.

The Delaware City refinery, which Valero bought in 2005, when the industry’s biggest problem was lack of capacity to keep up with soaring demand, was losing an unsustainable $1 million a day this year, the company said.
Read the rest of this entry »