When it comes to the heavy fuel oil and liquid asphalt industry, Kildair Service Ltd. is the Jack of all Trades—well on its way to mastering them all. Offering superior manufactured products, large storage capacities, high-tech petroleum facilities and transportation services, Kildair is all about versatility.
Eighty years ago, Kildair began as a transportation company located in Québec, shipping and receiving petroleum products via trucks, ships and rail. Over time, the company expanded to become a distributor and manufacturer of oil and asphalt from their Tracy terminal. Although Kildair’s primary focus rests on the terminal, the company has kept its transportation arm, using 20 tankers and 110 rail cars to ship dry goods and oil products.
The shift in company scope started in 1987, when Kildair acquired three storage tanks from their neighbour, Hydro Québec. They were selling some of their assets when Kildair’s owner saw an opportunity. From there, the company grew very quickly, adding five more storage tanks to hold a total of 1.7 million barrels of oil and/or asphalt. Today it remains the largest storage capacity of heavy fuel oil and bituminous products in North America.
Beyond the terminal and storage, Kildair has an asphalt polymer modification plant, which was built in 2003. Supplying modified asphalt to major transportation agencies in their region (i.e. Tranports Québec, the N.Y. Department of Transportation and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation), Kildair has the ability to alter its asphalt to product different grades, meeting the specific paving requirements of each ministry.
On the oil side, Kildair is the leading distributor of heavy fuel oil in Québec. The flexibility of its supply and distribution system provides added value for its customers. Kildair can deliver a high-quality product in compliance with individual specifications to North America.
“We have a specific role within the Canadian and north-eastern US oil industry,” says Daniel Morin, President of Kildair Service. “We help refiners manage and export their oil surpluses, as well as create products ourselves and become the sole suppliers of those products. Kildair is a necessary player in the heavy fuel oil and liquid asphalt industry.”
Research and Development
In order to master each division they get involved with, Kildair places great emphasis on its Research and Development (R&D) department. The Kildair team ensures that they’re always mindful of changes that could have an impact on their products. Their investment into R&D increases each year, in hopes of creating or improving upon qualities of oil and asphalt to satisfy individual clients.
“There are existing technologies in the market and different combinations of raw materials we can use,” explains Morin. “It’s really a question of optimizing what’s there and meeting the requirements each agency has, which could change with time. There is production control but also new product development; we’re always assessing new ways to manufacture the product, evaluating different technologies.”
Environment and Safety
When you’re dealing with oil products, it’s important to consider your environmental impact. That’s why Kildair upholds its ecological responsibilities, protecting the environment in various ways. The Tracy terminal complies with all environmental standards and ensures that all of their equipment is duly approved, using the best technology. As for the product itself, its emissions pose less risk to the atmosphere than other oil products. Unlike the by-products of other heavy fuel oil, its combustion leads to the emission of very few carbon particles (soot), as well as nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide particles.
In the unlikely event that there is oil spillage into the water, Kildair has partnered with the Eastern Canadian Response Corporation (ECRC), an organization with considerable resources to respond in a timely and thorough manner.
In addition to its commitment to the plant, Kildair is serious about maintaining the health and safety of its employees, holding all the necessary licenses required for its operations. Each employee is properly and stringently trained to adhere to safety measures. Kildair knows that their people are always ready to intervene quickly and efficiently in any emergency situation.
What lies ahead
According to Morin, the future looks good for Kildair Services. The team is always finding new ways to adapt to the changing market.
“One of the main things we’ve been developing is the asphalt side of our business,” explains Morin. “There is a strong possibility that PetroCanada will build a unit at its refinery that will drastically reduce our production of asphalt, so we will have to fill the void by importing more asphalt from the outside. Fortunately, we have the best import technology for asphalt in Québec, and even Canada, So, Kildair is well-positioned for that.”
Kildair also has investment projects on the go to build more storage. They are looking into more intermediate-sized storage to enable the company to clearly separate the products that arrive at their in facility, as well as to give room for growth in asphalt market. On the heavy fuel oil side, Kildair wants to increase their participation in the marine bunker business. They have all the capabilities—the manufacturing, the transportation and the quality product. “We also want to consolidate our exports to the east coast,” says Morin. “Since we’ve been exporting there for the last year and a half, we want to maintain our strong position—exporting surpluses from other refiners in the north-east.” Last but not least, Kildair hopes to continue in the transportation industry. Morin maintains that it’s still an important element to the company. “We’ve been doing that for years. The terminal is the flagship of the company, but transportation is a segment that we want to maintain for the future.”