UPDATE: JULY 7, 2019 — LAYOFF DATE EXTENDED FOR EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN CLEAN-UP AND SHUTDOWN.
The company has announced that it will be extending the layoff date for certain employees involved in cleaning up the facility, those preparing a safe shutdown, and those who will be preparing the property for possible re-sale — or even re-start.
The new date will be be August 25, 2019 rather than July 12, 2019.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the tenth largest petroleum refiner in the Unites States, experienced a devastating explosion and fire at its 1400 acre facility; and as a consequence of the damage and the company’s shaky financial condition, will permanently shutter its refinery operation.
Approximately 1,000 employees, 700 of whom are unionized, will lose their jobs. Most positions will be terminated by July 2019 with some positions remaining to safely close down operations. The ripple effect will also affect hundreds of vendors and contractors – as well as the broader community.
Because of the company’s precarious financial situation, it is unknown if the laid off employees will receive a severance package. Due to environmental concerns and the necessity for a large capital expenditure, it is doubtful that the refinery will be re-opened, but it may be re-purposed given its riverfront location and fuel storage facilities. The site would be extremely attractive for intermediaries who maintain pipeline, storage, and shipping facilities.
As with most financial engineering plays, the company’s previous owner, the Carlyle Group took $600 million in dividends, much of the money said to have resulted from loans against the equity in the plant’s assets. The company did enter into a bankruptcy restructuring plan in 2018 to reduce its debt load, including pensions and medical benefits.
Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. No one is guaranteed to wake up tomorrow and still have a job by evening. Are you now wondering, Am I Next?