The Come By Chance refinery in eastern Newfoundland is changing hands.

Harvest Operations Corp. announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell its 100 per cent ownership in North Atlantic Refining Limited to SilverRange Financial Partners LLC of New York.

The sale includes 53 North Atlantic and Home Town branded gasoline stations, as well as convenience stores, including 14 Orangestore branded locations.

The Come By Chance refinery is a 115,000-barrel-per-day operation, near the isthmus of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula.

Harvest, which purchased North Atlantic Refining for $1.6 billion in 2006, is now a wholly‐owned subsidiary of state-owned Korea National Oil Corporation.

'This is very good news for our company, our employees, and for the community.' - Alfred Efford, VP of human resources and labour relations for North Atlantic 

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Harsh Rameshwar of SilverRange called the acquisition “a unique opportunity” for the New York-based merchant bank.

North Atlantic Refining “is strategically located along Atlantic crude oil shipping routes and provides access to petroleum markets in Europe and the U.S. Eastern seaboard,” Rameshwar said in a news release.

“Its clean fuel technology enables the refinery to produce low-sulphur, clean fuels, providing flexibility to refine crudes from many parts of the world. In addition, the marketing business is a unique and attractive stable margin asset. We look forward to becoming a part of the Newfoundland community."

Senior officials at North Atlantic said the deal helps secure the operation’s future.

“We are happy that SilverRange saw the potential in our facility and we are looking forward to working with them,” said Alfred Efford, vice-president of human resources and labour relations for North Atlantic.

“This is very good news for our company, our employees, and for the community.”

Buyer absolved of environmental liabilities

The Newfoundland and Labrador government indicated it supported the deal by providing assurances that the buyer will not be responsible for any pre-existing environmental liabilities at the refinery site relating to soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water.

"The successful agreement for the sale of North Atlantic Refining Limited is good news for the people of the province, particularly those who make their living from the oil refinery in Come By Chance as well as the other operations throughout the province," Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said in a statement.

"This agreement, along with a solid commitment from the new owner, will support the long-term viability of the operation in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

According to the government, North Atlantic Refining employs 450 full time and 35 part time workers at the refinery, in addition to 47 employees in marketing and ‎114 employees in the Orangestores.