Valero Lévis still believes in the future of fossil fuels

Valero Lévis still believes in the future of fossil fuels
Valero Lévis still believes in the future of fossil fuels

“Even in a context of energy transition, our infrastructures are essential for the economic future of Quebec,” he said Wednesday, in front of the Lévis business community, in a rare public outing of the company which is yet clearly visible on the south shore.

He supports his remarks by estimating the added value that his company brings to the Quebec economy at $712 million annually.

Owned by Énergie Valero since 2011, the Jean-Gaulin refinery supplies 70% of refined products in Quebec and 40% of those consumed in Eastern Canada. “And this will continue in the coming years,” he insisted.

Deadlines considered too short

According to him, the demand for fossil fuels will certainly decrease, with the increase in electric vehicles on our roads, but it will continue.

“Mixed fuel (gasoline and ethanol) will remain important in the future.”

— Carl Marcotte, vice-president and general manager of the Jean-Gaulin refinery

He mentions the ever-increasing global demand for energy, supported by global population growth, in addition to the high costs associated with the many technological challenges that make it more difficult to achieve the objectives of the energy transition.

“2050 is a deadline that is too close,” he judges. “There are still many technological challenges ahead of us.”

A little greener

Nonetheless, the future of the Lévis refinery could well be a little greener. This is because Énergie Valero is committed to reducing its GHG emissions, even aiming to become carbon neutral by 2035.

To achieve this, the company is banking on increasing its production of renewable diesel, from its American factories, being the second largest producer in the world.

In Quebec, it has also been injecting a ratio of 10% ethanol into its gasolines since 2022, due to the provincial standard.

These are not the only measures, assures management.

The Lévis refinery has invested 1.8 billion in improving and maintaining its infrastructure, which has made it possible to reduce its GHG emissions, says the general director.

Carl Marcotte cites as an example the construction of the Saint-Laurent pipeline in 2012, which allows refined oil to be transported to Montreal without going through rail or road routes.

Since 1990, “the intensity of GHGs produced by the refinery has reduced by 31%,” he says. “We are positioned well in Canada.”

According to him, it is the company’s most reliable refinery, having received the reliability award nine times.

Committed to her community

Valero Lévis also does its part in the community, added Marina Binotto, director of public and government affairs.

In addition to the creation of a large green strip and parks surrounding its facilities, the company is committed to its community and to organizations in the region. “The environment also requires local and targeted actions. For the good of the population,” she said.

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For the director of public and government affairs, Marina Binotto, commitment to the environment also involves targeted actions in the community.
(Frédéric Matte/Le Soleil)

The torch burns

“Is the flare burning?” This is the question that would be most often asked by Lévisiens. The flare is a pipe 4.5 feet in diameter; it constitutes the safety valve of the refinery, summarizes the vice-president and general manager. “If there is a flame, it is doing its job, don’t worry,” explains Mr. Marcotte.

THE JEAN-GAULIN REFINERY IN FIGURES

  • 460 permanent employees and 250 contractors in Lévis
  • $94 million in payroll
  • 265,000 barrels refined per day
  • 1971, year of the beginning of its activities
  • Seven production teams work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
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