Posted by Heather Rutz on Jul 30, 2021
Cenovus Lima Refinery VP updates the club on new owner and operations.
Claudio Ingaramo, Cenovus Energy Vice President, U.S. Refining, spoke to the club Monday, giving an overview of operations at the Lima Refinery. In early 2021, Cenovus and Husky Energy combined, creating a new energy company and giving the refinery a new owner. The refinery is a key part of the company’s integrated energy strategy, Ingaramo told the group, and Cenovus is committed to the long-term responsible operation of the refinery.
Ingaramo has been at the refinery since 2013, when he joined the team as technical and planning director. He has served as a Vice President and General Manager of the refinery since 2018.
Addressing a campaign from area Lima Building Trades members regarding the refinery’s fall Turnaround, Claudio said Cenovus is committed to working with the group.
The refinery accepted bids in late 2020 for the work in a fair and competitive process, Claudio said, and the successful bidders best met the refinery’s criteria.
“While cost was a factor, other things such as safety and quality were larger drivers in our decision making,” Claudio said. The refinery doesn’t contract directly with the Lima Building Trades, but companies that use Trades-represented workers. Refinery leadership have met monthly with Trades leadership to help them be more successful in the future. Turnaround work is specialized, and most of the people who do the work come from outside the area, regardless of what company is doing the work. While Lima Building Trades members won’t be doing Turnaround work this year, they will be working in the refinery on regular maintenance.
Claudio detailed some achievements for the refinery, including employees recently marking a year without an occupational injury. In 2019, the refinery completed a large capital project, the Crude Oil Flexibility project, which allows the refinery to process more heavy sour crude and respond to crude market conditions. Fourteen new operators are currently training, and later this year the refinery will hire another group of new employees in the Maintenance Department. These positions are highly specialized, working with instrumentation and analyzers.
The refinery has also made improvements in environmental performance. The refinery is pioneering technology to clean water and then recycle it for use in the plant. Many refineries use reverse osmosis to clean water before it’s discharged, but very few, if any, are recycling water.
“The change has meant the refinery has reduced water consumption by 83 percent, conserving an important natural resource,” Claudio said.
Another cultural change around ownership of environmental stewardship and implementation of new tools and software to support the change has resulted in a drop of environmental variances for the facility. In 2020, with employees recommitting to ownership of environmental performance, variances were at an all-time low.
“I want to express my appreciation to our highly skilled and dedicated workforce. They’re a special group,” Claudio said. “They wake up every day, as do I, with the understanding that our community gives us license to operate, and it’s our privilege to operate the refinery responsibly and safely.”