Irving Oil: A message to our home community
June 18, 2015
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of discussion about Canaport LNG and the property taxes paid at this facility. As our home, Saint John is deeply important to all of us at Irving Oil and we want to offer our perspective on this issue.
Canaport LNG represents a significant investment in Saint John; it is one of the largest private sector investments ever made in the history of New Brunswick, at over $1.2 billion. Canaport LNG has laid the foundation for future, potentially much larger, investments in our community. It has made Saint John stronger and its future that much brighter.
We recognize that commercial agreements were disclosed as part of a tax case involving our joint venture partner, Repsol. The disclosed agreements did not reflect the overall economics for any of the parties involved at Canaport LNG. On an overall basis we believe that the returns generated by this project for our company are appropriate given the scale and risk associated with the undertaking, of which the property tax arrangements are but one element.
Irving Oil is committed to investing in Saint John and its future. In 2014 our company invested more than $200 million in Saint John; this year we are planning to invest a further $280 million, including at our refinery during its fall turnaround which will employ approximately 2,000 people. Our short-term plans include further investments in Saint John of approximately $300 million. The returns from our existing projects make all of these investments here at home possible.
Irving Oil’s people are heavily invested in Saint John and work hard every day to find new ways to create value for our city and our region. As is widely known, Irving Oil is currently working on two large projects – the Energy East Pipeline and an LNG export facility – that will have a significant positive impact on the economy. Both will require strong business and community support to happen.
We are working very hard to make the Energy East Pipeline a reality. This project contemplates investments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in the Saint John area alone, plus the longer-term economic activity that will be generated. This investment is not certain. To make it a reality it is important that we at Irving Oil, as well as the citizens of Saint John, send strong signals that we encourage economic development and support our partners over the long term.
In addition we are working with our partners at Repsol to try to define the next investment that may be made at Canaport LNG to support the liquefaction and export of LNG from Saint John to new global markets.
These two projects are potentially transformational to Saint John, but are far from certain – they face many of the risks that other large energy projects are facing today. The risks associated with investments of this scale make it critical that we send the strongest signals possible to potential investors that we are not a community that re-thinks commitments after investments have been made.
We at Irving Oil are focused on the future and will continue to invest in our city as a significant element of its economic success. We ask municipal officials, community and business leaders, and all other stakeholders in Saint John to work with our company and our partners to deliver projects such as the Energy East Pipeline and the LNG export facility to Saint John – our home.