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Marcus Hook to study its future without a refinery

Delaware County, Pennsylvania, is launching a study of what Marcus Hook’s refinery site could look like — without a refinery.

Sunoco put the refinery up for sale last year and began shutting it down in December. The company announced in February that it had “not received a single proposal for the purchase of Marcus Hook as an operating refinery” and said that the facility had reached the end of the line.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, who visited Delaware County for the announcement, said that news from Sunoco prompted the effort to evaluate other uses for the site.

“Our approach has been to appreciate the tremendous potential for that region and, simultaneously, the growing interest in looking for ways to develop opportunities drawing from the gas deposits throughout Pennsylvania,” Meehan said.

The Marcus Hook refinery was a major employer and made up a significant part of the town’s tax base.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development secretary C. Alan Walker is cautiously optimistic that the region’s other two refineries, also up for sale, will continue to operate as refineries.

Together, the three Philadelphia-area facilities represent roughly 50 percent of the East Coast’s refining capacity.

Meehan says continuing uncertainty will slow investment in new infrastructure to keep the region supplied with fuel.

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