Superior refinery rebuild continues amid Husky merger

The $750 million rebuild of the fire-damaged oil refinery in Superior, Wis., will continue as owner Husky Energy completes a merger with Cenovus Energy early next year. The combined company will be known as Cenovus Energy.

OGCS are supporting the project both in the Houston design office and at site in Wisconsin across our core services of Contracts Management and Project Controls as well as the secondment of general Project Management disciplines.

Husky bought the 69-year-old Superior refinery from Calumet for $492 million in 2017. In April 2018 a hole in a valve caused an explosion and fire that injured 36 people and cast a dark plume of smoke high into the sky as asphalt burned for several hours.

Reconstruction of the facility includes more than $150 million worth of new safety measures, though the company opted to continue using hydrogen fluoride, a highly caustic chemical that increases gasoline octane. The potential release of hydrogen fluoride was the basis for a near-citywide evacuation in Superior as the refinery burned.

Reconstruction in Superior employs about 150 people and was halted this spring in the wake of the pandemic but started ramping back up in July. The goal is to have the refinery, which employs about 200 people during normal operations, back online in 2022.

Ed Comiskey, The Regional Director for OGCS Americas Inc said that “Husky Energy continues to be a valued client for OGCS Americas Inc. operations out of our Houston Office. We look forward to continuing to support the project through to successful completion in 2022”

Cenovus already had 50% ownership of two U.S. refineries — in Texas and Illinois — that had a combined average 443,000-barrel-per-day capacity last year. In addition to the Superior refinery, which processes light and heavy oil into asphalt, gasoline, diesel and heavy fuel oils, Husky owns a refinery in Lima, Ohio.