May 2, 2003
(Government Services and Lands)


The following is being distributed at the request of the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission:

Commission pleased with North Atlantic Refining Ltd. expansion

George Saunders was delighted when he heard the news that North Atlantic Refining Ltd. is expanding its operation in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Petroleum Products Pricing commissioner was commenting on Wednesday�s announcement that North Atlantic Refining Ltd. had purchased Petro-Canada�s gasoline operations in the province. The major deal means North Atlantic will double its number of stations to approximately 80, and quadruple the gasoline volume it will market here.

Mr. Saunders said any time there is news of development and investment on a provincial level, it should be heralded as a positive event. It also demonstrates that businesses in the petroleum industry can prosper and grow in a regulated fuel market.

"North Atlantic Refining Ltd. is a locally operated company that has just verified through this announcement it�s committed to stay in Newfoundland and Labrador," said the commissioner. "The company operates the only refinery in this province, employs hundreds of people in its network, and wants to grow at every opportunity. This significant expansion is certainly a testament to detractors of regulation who claim that this commission is inhibiting business opportunities. The Petroleum Products Pricing Commission supports growth, investment and commitment, and congratulates North Atlantic and Petro-Canada for making this move."

Mr. Saunders also noted that Calgary-based Petro-Canada has stated it will continue to develop joint ventures near Newfoundland, and is committed to staying in the province�s home heating business through Harvey�s Oil. That is good news the company will maintain a solid presence in eastern Canada, he added.

Media contact: Michelle Hicks, Communications, 1-866-489-8800 or (709) 489-8837; cell: (709) 486-4789

2003 05 02                                       9:25 a.m. 

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