Spring is synonymous with renewal and fresh starts as we come out of the winter months and prepare for the year ahead. For Suncor, this spring is also the time that our four refineries undergo planned maintenance or “turnarounds.”

Our refineries operate constantly to provide fuels and materials the world needs to run. Keeping the refineries running safely and in top condition requires regular maintenance.

Turnarounds also require a lot of staff and can mean several hundred additional contract employees are needed to execute a safe and timely turnaround. With COVID-19 adding to the complexity of turnaround activities that include equipment inspections or repairs, part replacements and technology upgrades, we are making sure the workers that enter our refineries are healthy to prevent the spread.

“Our top priority remains the health and safety of our workforce, their families and our communities,” says Marc Mageau, senior vice president, Refining and Logistics at Suncor. “In addition to our standard safety protocols and expectations, we are using enhanced measures like rapid antigen screening to ensure a safe and successful turnaround at each of our refineries.”

Over the next few months, our refineries in Edmonton, Montreal, Sarnia and Commerce City, US, will be performing turnaround work and each site has incorporated COVID-19 measures in its turnaround planning.

Check out the updates below to learn more about what how our refineries share information with employees and the community.

Commerce City

Suncor has played an important role in Colorado’s energy portfolio for over 15 years. The Commerce City Refinery is the sole refining facility in Colorado, US, that processes crude and turns it into products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and paving asphalt.

We are committed to minimizing impacts to our local community, so earlier this year, Suncor began a process to improve the way we share information with our neighbours in Commerce City. Those living near this refinery can sign up for Refinery Notifications, which will begin this June.


For close to 70 years, Suncor’s Sarnia refinery has been a significant contributor to Ontario’s fuel supply.

Our Sarnia refinery is located close to the Aamjiwnaang First Nation and information about operations and activities at the refinery is shared directly with the community and through the Community Awareness and Emergency Response Industry Update Line at 1-855-4SARNIA.

Through Suncor’s participation in the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) rapid antigen screening pilot at a handful of our operational sites, including Sarnia, we have a better understanding of the value of COVID-19 screening and how to best deploy it. As an enhanced measure to our COVID-19 safety protocols, rapid antigen screening will be an expectation for specific workers supporting planned turnaround activities this spring at each of our Canadian refineries.


Our Edmonton refinery processes product from Suncor’s oil sands operations and supplies Western Canada with a large portion of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and aviation gasoline by truck, rail and pipelines.

New COVID-19 protocols and processes were put in place for the refinery’s 2020 turnaround, including physical barriers, a workgroup cohort and additional personal protective equipment. These added measures will continue into 2021, as well as adding rapid antigen screening as an additional layer of protection for our workforce.

For those looking for more information regarding turnarounds and any updates around industrial activities, call the Strathcona Industrial Association Update line at 1-866-653-9959.


The Montreal refinery began refining crude oil in 1955. Production of this refinery has expanded over the years to improve the products it produces (gasoline and distillate fuels) and the manufacturing of petrochemicals. 

Rapid antigen screening for COVID-19 is also being conducted at this site to ensure the safety of our workforce and the surrounding community.

To learn more about operations at our Montreal refinery, including shutdown notices, visit Association Industrielle de l'Est de Montréal website or our Montreal refinery page on Suncor.com.

* Suncor also conducts annual planned maintenance events at its other operating facilities, like our oil sands operations in the RMWB