LIMA — Lima’s refinery continues to make a positive impact on the community, its local leader told the Lima Rotary Club on Monday.
Claudio Ingaramo, the vice president for U.S. refining for Cenovus Energy, is from Argentina and has been with the Lima refinery since 2013. He was appointed manager in 2018.
At the beginning of the year, Cenovus Energy purchased the Lima refinery from Husky Energy. The refinery sits on 450 acres of property in Shawnee Township, just south of the Lima city limits. The facility processes 175,000 barrels of oil per day into gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel. The refinery employs 450 workers and another 400 contractors.
Ingaramo’s appearance coincides with the ongoing controversy over the company planning to use outside workers for the upcoming five-year fall turnaround, where needed preventive maintenance is performed on half of the refinery.
Around 3,000 workers will be brought in to do the work, leaving the Lima Building Trades group questioning why they weren’t included in the work.
The Lima Building Trades group held a town hall meeting last week, but Cenovus officials did not attend.
“Safety is our first value, so when we put in the fair and transparent bidding process last year by which we selected the contractors that are doing the turnaround this year, we value safety first, then technical expertise and related experiences and based on that we made the selection,” Ingaramo said. “While cost plays a role in the decision process — in reality, safety and quality were the main drivers.”
Ingaramo isn’t saying the Lima Building Trades workers lack the skills to do the job in the future, however.
“What we did is make sure that we collaborate with them for the future in order for them to have better opportunities in whatever company they participate, because we assign contracts to companies — union or non-union,” Ingaramo said. “We have been meeting since the decision on a monthly basis with the (Lima) Building Trades in order to support them and collaborate with them and help them get better development. We are in the early stage of developing a safety training process customized to the Lima refinery.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.