Future of Come By Chance refinery has town worried
The for-sale status of the Come By Chance oil refinery has many people in the town worried because some business analysts predict that it won't be an easy task to find a buyer.
In an oversaturated market where refineries are closing in other parts of Canada, there are a number of knocks against the eastern Newfoundland location — there are no train tracks or pipelines connecting it to anywhere else and the oil has to be shipped in and out.
The refinery's Korean parent company, Korea National Oil Corp., has put the refinery up for sale because it's looking to unload its Canadian assets.
The refinery has also lost a total of $106 million in the first six months of 2013.
Lew Baker, town councillor in Come By Chance, said the community would suffer if the refinery was unable to find a buyer.
"I'm concerned about, like most people in the area, employment for the area. It's going to drop considerably if the refinery closes, and not only directly from the refinery — the spinoff jobs that are in this immediate area," Baker said.
"It's the lifeblood of this area, the refinery is, and to the town as well — that's our main source of revenue for money coming into the town."
According to Baker, young families may be forced to other parts of the province — or country — to find work.
"Everybody's concerned, more especially the younger people. The people that are getting up for retirement, well, it's not quite so bad, but people who are raising families and depend on the refinery … I'm sure they're concerned," he said.
According to Baker, tensions would be eased if there was some indication that there was an interested party, but he said the town has not heard about anyone.