KYW Regional Affairs Council

“The Delaware Valley Unrefined”


By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — So, with a half-billion-dollar potential hit to the regional economy looming in just three months, what does the future hold for the Delaware Valley’s three local refineries?

One thing appears certain: Sunoco’s facility in Marcus Hook will not come back as a refinery (see related story).  So, there’s a $100,000 study now under way to examine alternative uses for the site.

mcgarrigle thumb Part 4:  Whats Ahead

(Tom McGarrigle. Photo provided)

“We hope this study will provide guidance for the county, state officials, and the local municipality, plus the property owner to make an informed decision,” says Delaware County Council chairman Tom McGarrigle (right), who expects to get the results of the study in about a month.

Things look brighter for the other two refineries in our area that are on the block.  ConocoPhillips has a couple of potential suitors, one of them an airline that might use it for their jet fuel needs.

As for the Sunoco refinery in South Philadelphia, Sunoco CEO Brian MacDonald (top photo) is keeping his fingers crossed.

“There is limited interest,” he admits.  “The refining conditions continue to be very difficult, but we do have interest in the Philadelphia refinery.”

There are said to be as many as four potential bidders for the Philadelphia plant, which Sunoco wants sold by July to avoid a shutdown.

Government officials stand ready to help make any deal happen, but they can only do so much (see related story).

“We’d like to have this done yesterday, if it’s going to happen,” says Kevin Harley, a spokesman for Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, “but these are private business decisions that companies have to look to see if it makes economic sense for them to do.”

Like a deal last month in which Shell said it would open a Marcellus Shale processing plant in western Pennsylvania.

In time, shale could help this end of the Commonwealth, too.  But right now the region is still banking on good old-fashioned crude.


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