Over 700 Jobs Created
Today, Blackstone President and COO Tony James attended an event to celebrate the official reopening of the Delaware City petroleum refinery, which was closed in 2009 by a previous owner. Mr. James toured the refinery and delivered remarks at the event, attended by Delaware Governor Jack Markell, U.S. Senator Thomas Carper, U.S. Senator Christopher Coons, International Vice President of the United Steelworkers Gary Beevers, and First Reserve Managing Director Tim Day, as well as other dignitaries and employees of the refinery.
“Saving this refinery is what private equity is all about. It's great that a couple of 20-year-olds can start a web site in a garage and make billions of dollars with venture capital,” said Tony James. “But if we are going to get America going again, we need to save struggling, traditional American businesses that employ thousands of people. And to do that, we need patient equity in large amounts that provide strong capital bases. Only private equity can fill this need.
A single private equity investment provided the capital to restart the Delaware City Refinery and implement a complete turnaround of the facility, a project that enjoys the full support of the Steelworkers Union, the Delaware Government and the local community.
Blackstone together with PBF Energy and First Reserve Corporation acquired the refinery in 2010 and invested more than $450 million in growth capital to improve the refinery’s performance, reliability and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 35%. The reopening of Refinery has led to the rehiring of 500 employees and up to 250 contractors. Approximately 2000 additional jobs at suppliers and related industries could be created by the reopening of the facility, having a wide impact on the Delaware community.
Mr. James added, “The 2000 jobs potentially created by this reopening are a win for the pension funds we manage, the workers here at the refinery, the State of Delaware and the economy of the U.S. Let's use it as a model for the future.”