Sunoco announced Thursday that it would begin to idle its Marcus Hook refinery effective immediately. The company announced in September that it was getting out of the oil refinery business. But the shut-downs were not expected until the summer. A press release blames market forces.
“Market conditions have deteriorated significantly and the outlook for both motor fuel demand and refining margins remains weak,” said Lynn L. Elsenhans, Sunoco’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Our retail and logistics businesses are performing well, but given the negative realities of the Northeast refining marketplace, we need to accelerate the timeline for idling our Marcus Hook processing units.”
The company says almost 500 employees will lose their jobs. Sunoco’s Philadelphia refinery will increase its capacity. But Sunoco says if a buyer isn’t found by July, it will shutter both facilities.