A spokesperson for Continental Refining Company, described as “harassing and misleading,” negative telephone calls to the Commonwealth Journal about the former Somerset Refinery’s current operation.
Missy Shorey, president and CEO of Shorey Public Relations, in a telephone voice mail to the newspaper, emphasized CRC is “ … in the best position we have ever been due to a streamline operation and so many of the ($2.5 million) investments (upgrades) have been completed.” She promised major announcements June 1 next year about ongoing upgrades that will be completed at that time.
Shorey said there were layoffs at the plant last June due to what she said was “change and streamlining in our operations because many of the investments we have made have been paying off and making things more efficient. Therefore, we adjusted our labor force accordingly.”
At press time, Shorey had not returned a telephone call requesting the number of employees laid off in June and current employment numbers at the plant. At the first of the year, prior to the June layoff, CRC had 58 jobs at Continental Refining Company and 6 jobs at the transport company (CTS). CRC is still hiring, advertising for a process safety management administrative assistant.
Somerset Refinery served oil producers in Kentucky and Tennessee for more than 80 years before financial problems in early 2010 forced it to close for nearly three years.
Demetrios Haseotes, an owner and past director of the Cumberland Group of Companies, which include Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms and Gulf Oil LP, formed Somerset-based Continental Refining Company (CRC) and purchased the troubled Somerset Refinery in December 2011. Refining operations resumed in January 2013.
Continental Refining Company, located on a 93-acre site off Monticello Street, is one of only 150 refineries in the United States and only one of two refineries in Kentucky. CRC is the closest refinery for crude oil producers within a 170-miles radius. The other refinery in Kentucky is Catlettsburg Refining owned by Marathon Petroleum Corporation.