The Suncor Energy refinery in Commerce City is shutting down one of its three plants for a $100 million maintenance project that the company says will reduce air emissions.
Suncor announced the shutdown Monday morning via its emergency notification system. The notice did not specify the type of work being done, other than to say it was “planned, preventative maintenance” that is performed every few years. The work will last through early June.
As the plant is taken offline, neighbors may notice increased noise and flares from the smokestacks on the property, the notice said.
The maintenance also will bring additional workers to the refinery, with more than 700 extra people working across two shifts during peak times, the notice said. Traffic around the refinery’s business center, 5455 Brighton Blvd., will be especially heavy during shift changes, which will take place between 4 and 8 a.m. and 4 and 8 p.m.
The plant is one of three on the property, and it refines oil into gasoline and other fuels. A third plant makes a key ingredient used in asphalt.
Suncor temporarily closed all three plants in late December after extremely cold weather triggered a malfunction. Workers performed repairs and maintenance on the plants during that time, and all three plants were up and running by late March.
Suncor is the only oil refinery in Colorado and it refines about 103,000 barrels of oil when operating at peak capacity. During its closure earlier this year, the average retail price of a gallon of gas in Colorado rose more than 50%.
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