PBF Energy reconfiguration of East Coast refining ops could lead to 250 job cuts in Paulsboro

Parsippany-based PBF Energy Inc. is reconfiguring its East Coast refinery operations, which could cost 250 workers their jobs in Paulsboro.

In its third-quarter earnings report, PBF said it is implementing a reconfiguration and optimization plan at two refineries, in Paulsboro and Delaware City, Delaware. The reconfiguration plan includes idling several units in Paulsboro, including the smaller of two crude units, coker, fluid catalytic cracker and others. The company would then operate the remaining units at higher utilization and efficiency, it said. The reconfiguration is expected to be complete by year-end.

“With this reconfiguration, we will operate the most profitable components of our East Coast refining system at lower cost,” PBF Chairman and CEO Tom Nimbley said in a prepared statement. “This is another step in our broader strategic process aimed at increasing the competitive position of our entire refining portfolio.”

As a result of the plan, PBF issued a federal WARN notice to the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development for its Paulsboro Refining Co. LLC unit. The notice said 250 workers could lose their jobs by year-end as a result of the unit idlings, including technicians, engineers, machinists and more.

“PBF Energy has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily through demand destruction for motor fuels related to lockdowns that have throttled back the economy,” the notice said.

Employees would be offered severance as well as COBRA health insurance and other benefits, as appropriate.

PBF did not immediately return an ROI-NJ request for more information.

WARN notices normally cover mass layoffs or facility closings as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1989.