Sherritt International Corp.’s planned full-facility maintenance shutdown of the refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, has been deferred to August from the previously scheduled June period. The company said this was to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on employee and contractor health and safety.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we operate are of paramount importance,” President and CEO Leon Binedell said. “While the number of local COVID-19 cases is declining and vaccinations accelerating, we elected to take extra caution and deferred the plant-wide maintenance shutdown until the third quarter.”

Binedell said this rescheduling will not impact the company’s guidance for the year, but it will result in finished production totals that are higher in the second quarter and lower in the third quarter than previously anticipated.

Sherritt’s full-facility shutdown will last approximately 11 days and include all of the refinery and utility plants. Sherritt’s guidance for 2021 production, unit cost and capital spend at the Moa Joint Venture will not be impacted by the rescheduling of the shutdown.