When Western Canadian farmers need fuel the most, Co-op hits the highway.
On any given day, there can be more than 190 Super-B trailers transporting high-quality diesel and gasoline fuels from the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) in Regina, Sask.
During busy seeding and harvest seasons, that fleet can grow to 230. It’s just one of the ways Co-op ensures its fuel storage tanks across Western Canada are full and ready to help producers bring their harvest home.
At the CRC, Allison Hillmer and a team of three blending engineers play an important role in the production of billions of litres of Co-op fuels every year.
It’s their job to ensure every tank is of a consistent quality that adheres to federal and provincial regulations and meets the needs of Western Canadians.
“Everyone here works hard and takes a lot of pride in producing premium products for our customers,” said Hillmer, Refined Products Blending Manager.
To provide fuels with power and performance, Hillmer’s team formulates blends tailored to the Western Canadian climate. On the diesel side, these blends can change more than a dozen times throughout the year, providing Co-op members and customers with the best-performing fuels possible, no matter the season.
Hillmer also oversees the addition of important additives that enhance engine performance, such as the detergent used in CO-OP® Premium Diesel Fuel to protect fuel injection systems from harmful deposits.
The Co-op Refinery Complex was founded by a group of farmers in the 1930s. Today, the facility has the capacity to process 130,000 barrels of oil a day, providing important fuel products for Co-op members and customers across the Prairies.
Focus on farmers
In the early spring months, Hillmer’s team shifts focus to diesel production ahead of the seeding season. They’ll do so again as harvest approaches to make sure local retail co-ops are ready to serve growers.
From the CRC, fuels are transported throughout Co-op’s network of 66 bulk fuel plants. The newest of these facilities can store up to five million litres of fuel and are centrally located for better service to local retail co-ops and, ultimately, their members and customers.
An early delivery program that makes it easier for Co-op members to order summer fuel and a new fuel storage terminal in Carseland, Alta., are also benefitting producers, said Craig Kezama, Petroleum Distribution Services Manager at CRC.
“We virtually have had no service issues in the last year and a half through any of these peak periods,” said Kezama.
The Carseland facility, which receives fuel from CRC by rail, opened in 2015. With an additional 135 million litres of storage, it allows CRC to more efficiently deploy its trucking fleet across Western Canada.
“There’s no doubt that the Carseland terminal gives us the opportunity of servicing that ag customer much better.”