Sarnia Manufacturing Site

Phone number: (519) 339-2000

Location: Southwestern Ontario, in the city of Sarnia

Imperial Oilís Sarnia operation is the most integrated fuels, lubricating oil and chemicals manufacturing and petroleum research facility in Canada.

Fuels Manufacturing

When the Sarnia refinery was commissioned in 1897, it was the largest refinery in Canada, with a capacity of 900 barrels of crude oil processing a day. Today, the refinery is one of the most complex in Canada. Since the mid-1980s, significant improvements at a number of process units have increased the refineryís ability to process a wide range of crude oil into quality petroleum products.

In the 1990s, Imperial spent approximately $17 million to reduce sulfur in diesel and benzene in gasoline. Imperial invested more than $300 million in its Sarnia and Nanticoke refineries to produce low-sulfur gasoline. A pipeline link between the two refineries was completed in 2002 and a new sulfur-reduction unit at Nanticoke that reduces the sulfur in gasoline from both refineries started up in November 2003. Through this innovative approach of integrating the two refineries, we are producing gasoline with less than 30 parts per million sulfur more than a year ahead of the 2005 legislated deadline.

Lube Oil Manufacturing and Packaging

In 2000, a $100 million expansion of the lubrication oil manufacturing units used to produce the new-generation of engine oils was completed. Base oil and waxes produced by the lubricant manufacturing complex and other sources are blended with additives to create more than 250 lubricating oils, specialty products and waxes. Approximately 60 percent of the blended products are transported to customers by tank trucks and rail cars. The remaining volume is pumped to the siteís packaging plant to be put into small containers.

Chemicals Manufacturing

Imperialís chemical division is one of Canadaís largest producers of petrochemicals. The first unit to produce pure chemicals from petroleum was built in 1957.

The gas cracker produces ethylene, propylene and butylene olefins using natural gas liquids as well as light saturated hydrocarbons from the Sarnia refineryís coker and catalytic cracking units as feedstock. The aromatics unit uses leading technology to recover benzene, toluene and xylene from Sarnia and Nanticoke refinery feedstock. These products are the primary petrochemicals used in the manufacture of solvents and coatings. A number of capital and operational changes have been made at this plant since 1999 to further reduce benzene in gasoline. Despite the increase in production of benzene, emissions have been reduced by 85 percent since 1997.

The polyethylene plant began operation in 1983 and continues as one of the most cost-competitive facilities of its kind in the world. A pelletizer was installed in 1986 and upgraded in 1997. The plant completed its fifth expansion in 2002, more than tripling its original production capacity to 450,000 tonnes a year.

Imperial is a founding member of the Sarnia Lambton Environmental Association, an internationally renowned industrial cooperative, devoted to environmental protection. The manufacturing siteís emissions routinely meeting government requirements and quality limits. An annual Safety Health and Environment report is available.

Refinery Capacity: 119,000 barrels per day of crude oil

Chemical Plant Capacity: More than one million tonnes of production annually

Products: Unleaded gasoline, jet fuel, stove oil, furnace fuel, diesel, marine fuel, propane and butane and lubricating oils, olefins, polyethylene, benzene, toluene, xylene, specialized solvents, plasticizer feedstocks.

Facilities: Crude distillation, fluid coking, hydrocracking, fluid catalytic cracking, naphtha reforming and distillate desulfurization, hydrogen treating and synthesis, fuels blending, storage and shipping, lubricant-oil processing, lube blending and packaging, gas cracker, polyethylene plant, aromatics plant, higher-olefins plant, naphtha-specialties plant, water treatment facilities, including biological oxidation.

A 95-megawatt cogeneration unit started up in April 2004. Cogeneration, which uses natural gas to generate both steam and electricity will improve energy efficiency and over time reduce emissions at the Sarnia refinery and chemical operations.

Employees: Approximately 1030



2004 CAER.CA