Rebuild of Husky’s Superior Refinery gets green light

Work at the damaged Superior Refinery is expected to begin immediately

Demolition of the equipment damaged in the 2018 fire at Husky Energy's Superior Refinery is mostly complete and the rebuild is expected to take place over the coming two years. Duluth News Tribune/Reuters photo by Robert King.

Husky Energy announced on Monday that it has received the permits required to begin reconstruction work at its Superior Refinery, which was damaged by fire in April, 2018.

The Calgary-based company says work at the Superior, Wisconsin refinery is expected to begin immediately.  Demolition of the damaged equipment is mostly complete and the rebuild is expected to take place over the coming two years.

Husky says the Superior Refinery should return to full operations in 2021.

Once construction is complete, Husky says the refinery will feature best available control technology, which will incorporate advances in technology and efficiencies from across the refining industry.  The operation is expected to be more energy efficient and will be in full compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

Superior Refinery will run in a continuous mode averaging 45,000 barrels per day (bbls/day), which includes a 5,000 bbls/day average increase in heavy oil processing to 25,000 bbls/day.  The refinery will boost the company’s ability to service the US Midwest market by producing a full slate of products, including asphalt, gasoline and diesel.

Husky Energy says during construction, over 350 contractor jobs are expected to be created at peak, and it will employ local contractors and services whenever possible in the reconstruction of the Superior Refinery.

“Our continued investment in this refinery and the community will support the Superior-Duluth regional economy through jobs, procurement, taxes and essential energy products for years to come,” said CEO Rob Peabody. “The Superior Refinery is an integral part of Husky’s Integrated Corridor business, which maximizes margin capture across the value chain.”

Once the refinery is fully ramped up, Husky’s overall downstream throughput capacity is expected to be approximately 400,000 bbls/day.

Husky Energy acquired the Superior Refinery in 2017. As the first U.S. refinery along the route of the Enbridge mainline, Husky says it is ideally positioned to process the company’s Canadian heavy crude feedstock.

Superior Refinery has about 200 employees and works with numerous contractors and suppliers in the region.

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