Sunoco reaches a deal to save Philadelphia refinery

“Given the unit’s deplorable safety history, it is not surprising there was a serious acid leak,” said plaintiff attorney Larry Bendesky. “It is a miracle nobody was killed.”

More than 800 jobs at Sunoco’s refinery in South Philadelphia will be saved under a joint partnership that will convert the East Coast’s largest refinery into an energy hub.

Sunoco will partner with global asset manager The Carlyle Group to preserve the refinery, which was scheduled to close in August as the company struggled to maintain profits. The commonwealth will also kick in grant funding that will help upgrade the facilities and create 100 to 200 new jobs and thousands of construction jobs, officials said.

The joint venture will be called Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Phil Rinaldi will serve as chief executive officer. The facility will continue to produce fuel and possibly expand into other ventures related to the Marcellus Shale. Under the agreement, Sunoco will have a minority interest and Carlyle be the majority owner and oversee the day-to-day operations. The deal not only saves hundreds of jobs, but the venture will also maintain critical fuel supply in the U.S. The refinery processes 330,000 barrels of oil per day.

“It is an example of the private and public sectors working closely together to ensure this refinery, an important economic engine of the region, continues to operate,” Mayor Michael Nutter said.


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