‘Everything going as planned’ for Continental Refinery
By BILL MARDIS, Editor Emeritus Commonwealth Journal
“Everything is going as planned.”
Missy Shorey, spokesperson for Continental Refining Company (CRC), said this week there have been no hitches since the former Somerset Refinery restarted operations about the first of the year.
An official local announcement was made February 3 that crude oil was again being refined at the Monticello Street location. The plant’s revival was announced nationally February 4.
The start-up is gradual, and the refinery is expected to be operating at full capacity in about six months.
A public ceremony is being planned to celebrate restart of the refinery. “We are looking forward to a ribbon cutting sometime between now and summer,” Shorey noted. Demetrios Haseotes, president and CEO of CRC, indicated the opening ceremony may include a reflection of the refinery’s contributions to the growth of this community.
“CRC has revived an 80-year-old company and given jobs to 35 families in the community and well as new business for vendors,” Shorey pointed out.
Two additional workers will be on the payroll within the next two weeks, Shorey revealed. Haseotes said about 12 former Somerset Refinery employees are among the start-up work force.
Somerset Refinery, one of two crude oil refineries in Kentucky, was a landmark business and one of the community’s most stable employers since the 1930s. It shut down in February 2010 due to financial difficulties.
Continental Refining Company (CRC) purchased the refinery a little more than a year ago. It has secured a contract with Sonoco Partners Marketing and Terminals LP that will assure a consistent supply of crude oil. Haseotes said CRC is attracting local producers. “Everyday we are picking up local crude and adding more,” he assured.