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Valero to ferry N. American crude from Montreal terminal to Québec City refinery with two Panamax-class tankers

Canadian marine transportation company Groupe Desgagnés and Valero’s Canadian Operations have formed a joint venture, Transport Maritime Saint-Laurent Inc., that has acquired two Panamax-class ships. These ships will serve to transport, among others, crude oil from Valero’s Montreal East Terminal to its Jean Gaulin refinery in Lévis, on the south shore of Québec City—a journey up the St. Lawrence River of about 250 km (155 miles).

Currently, the refinery relies on foreign crude oil for feedstock, which is received by ship at its deep-water dock on the St. Lawrence River and has significant storage capacity for crude oil, and intermediate and refined products.

This partnership is very important for us. Along with the deliveries by ship, once the Canadian energy company Enbridge completes its 9B pipeline flow reversal project to Montreal, we will be able to supply 100 percent high quality North American light crude to our Jean Gaulin refinery in Lévis instead of bringing in crude from overseas. This will allow us to take full advantage of our Montreal East terminal, the largest in Canada. Investments of more than $180 million are underway to adapt our oil handling and storage facilities in Montreal East and our infrastructures at the refinery in Lévis, which will create close to 200 jobs during the construction phase.

—Ross R. Bayus, President of Valero’s Canadian Operations

Operated by Desgagnés, the sister ships were built in 2007 and will be adapted to their new roles over the coming months. To this effect, they will have equipment providing excellent maneuverability and safety at sea as well as safe docking. The ships, with their length of 228.50 meters and breadth of 32.24 meters, have a capacity exceeding 500,000 barrels (80,000 m³), although the volumes carried during voyages between Montreal and Lévis will be limited to some 350,000 barrels (56,000 m³), depending on the St. Lawrence River water levels and in accordance with safe navigation margins.

Desgagnés, whose headquarters are in Québec City, is a conglomerate that has specialized since the 19th century in marine transportation of liquid bulk, general cargo, dry bulk and passengers. Its activities also extend to ship repair as well as the rental and operation of heavy machinery. The company owns and operates a fleet of 18 ships that navigate on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, the Eastern Canadian Arctic, the East coasts of Canada and the United States and all the seas of the world.

Valero owns and operates the Jean Gaulin refinery at Lévis, near Quebec City, which currently has a refining capacity of some 265,000 barrels of oil per day, as well as several logistics infrastructures including the Montreal East oil terminal, the largest of its kind in Canada.

Valero is the world’s largest independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Its assets include 16 refineries stretching from the US West and Gulf coasts to Canada and the United Kingdom with an overall refining capacity of 3 million barrels per day.



This is a good interim solution, to make Alberta Oil available at the Quebec refinery, for the next few years or until such times as the East pipelines are installed.

Eventually, the East Pipelines will supply Alberta Oil to all Eastern Canada refineries and for exports to EU and Eastern USA.

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