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Elk Grove Citizen

Martinez Refining Co. Officially welcomed

Feb 07, 2020 12:00AM ● By By Dana Guzzetti

Mayor Rob Schroder, (fourth from right) and Contra Costa County District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, (center), and other city officials welcomed the operators of the new Shell Refining Company at the February 1 Ribbon Cutting ceremony. Photo courtesy MRC

Martinez Refining Co. Officially welcomed [2 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

MARTINEZ, CA (MPG) - Mayor Rob Schroder, Contra Costa County District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, and other city officials welcomed the operators of the new Martinez Refining Company at the February 1 ribbon cutting ceremony.

The former Shell refinery has operated in Martinez since 1915. The oil refiner and its workers have been an important part of the community and the new owner, PBF Energy, Inc. has already proven the company’s commitment to continuity in terms of its employees and the Martinez community in general.  

PBF began the complex purchase transition more than a year ago, but government approvals and other details were not finalized until now, according to Ann Notarangelo, external relations manager, who transitioned from Shell to Martinez Refining Company.

The purchase price of Shell Oil Products US assets was $960.0 million-plus the value of hydrocarbon inventory. In a recent press release, PBF’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Nimbley said Martinez is a significant strategic step for PBF as the company expands its West Coast operations. “Martinez is a top-tier asset, (it) is a perfect complement to our existing assets and provides increased opportunities for PBF’s West Coast operations to deliver value.”

 “…We are committed to maintaining the high operational standards of the refinery and, through continued safe, reliable and environmentally responsible operations,” he remarked.

The new Company Manager, Jerry Forstell, worked at the former Shell refinery from 1992-2003. Subsequently, he often returned as General Manager of Turnarounds and Projects. Forstell has been in the refining and chemical business for 35 years, 31 of those with Shell.

Forstell says. “I deeply respect our rich history and value our commitment to our community… (and) maintaining the outstanding legacy and traditions that Shell established over the past 105 years.”

Since PBF took over, the company has continued to support “Run for Education”, Family Fun Night, The 4th of July Parade, National Night Out, the Holiday Frolic, and Tree Lighting, and the local Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs still use the Refinery Clubhouse.

Notarangelo commented, “We congratulate 2019 Alhambra High School graduate, Jessica McCauley, who earned the Shell Martinez Refinery STEM Scholarship in May. We are also honored to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martinez in establishing a ‘Teen Center.’”

The now, Martinez Refining Company, sponsored free, public guided hikes through “Save Mount Diablo,” and employees helped with the Food Bank food drive.

Most Martinez residents pass by the refinery without any idea of its complicated nature. The 157,000 barrel-per-day, dual-coking Martinez refinery is located on an 860-acre site, and is a “high-conversion facility.” It includes high-quality onsite logistics assets and a deep-water port. When operating at capacity the local refinery reportedly produces 8.8 million barrels.

PBF Energy, Inc. is one of the largest independent petroleum refiners in the country, but not nearly as large, diverse or old as Shell. 

Headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., the refining and pipeline company has purchased refineries in Delaware City, Del., Paulsboro, N.J., Toledo, Ohio, Chalmette near New Orleans, LA., Torrance, CA, and Martinez, CA.

A group of experienced refiners founded PBF in 2008 during the housing crisis and economic downturn and started operating its first refinery in 2010. The company was committed to growth and safety from the start, and by 2012 it was on the New York Stock Exchange.

Since then, the PBF Paulsboro refinery was recognized as an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program Star Site, the Torrence refinery earned the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) Safety Award in 2018.