Marathon Petroleum’s Kenai Refinery is pushing back its scheduled turnaround out of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A turnaround involves hundreds of contractors, locally and from out of the area, coming to the refinery to perform maintenance, upgrades and inspections. The company issued a statement Wednesday saying that delaying the annual turnaround is in the interest of the health of staff and contractors.
It will be rescheduled for sometime later this year, possibly in August. The event is a boost to local hotels, restaurants and other visitor services, which makes the postponement a further hit to local businesses that are already hurting from COVID-19-related shutdowns and slowdowns.
Marathon says it has had a pandemic response plan for years. The Kenai facility has initiated health-screening procedures, health practices and telecommuting for employees, when possible.