Canadian Fuels Association members produce, distribute and sell the transportation fuels that support the mobility of all Canadians. At all stages in the process that brings fuels to the point of sale, our members are achieving impressive goals for community involvement, innovation and environmental performance. In this issue of Perspectives, we talk to three individuals who make a difference.

Fuelling western Canada

Craig Kezama’s commitment to the co-op model.

Craig Kezama’s unusual path to leadership at Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) has given him a commitment to safety and strong sense of loyalty to his community and industry.

Kezama was about to become a teacher 30 years ago when he decided to make an abrupt career change. He took a job in a warehouse at Federated Co-operatives in Regina. On weekends and evenings, he earned a number of business qualifications and a diploma in general management studies.

The hard work qualified Kezama to take on distribution roles at various warehouses for Federated across western Canada and, finally, at CRC (owned by Federated) back in Regina. CRC processes refinery products for Federated’s member co-ops.

“No doubt my path from the warehouse floor to distribution manager has affected my optimistic perspective on things,” says Kezama. “My sense of belonging at CRC helps me and my team make decisions that positively affect the safe and efficient operation of all aspects of our distribution network.”

Kezama has presided over logistical and technological improvements that have made CRC a highly efficient, more environmentally responsible and fundamentally safer operation. One improvement was the creation of a mega-terminal in western Canada that has 140 million litres of storage capacity. “More than most of our competition has in the field,” he says. “It lets us deliver product with maximum payload, which is the most efficient way to distribute.”

In the 1990s, CRC partnered with the Government of Saskatchewan to build a nine-axle petroleum delivery truck, which gave CRC the capacity to deliver 10,000 litres more product per delivery—far more efficient from a logistical and environmental point of view.

Kezama said CRC also works out agreements with other refineries to exchange product so that shipping is more efficient, which reduces everyone’s environmental footprint. “For example, we may provide product to others in Regina and receive product in return in the Edmonton market. It works to everyone’s benefit and is easier on the environment.”

“(Our process) works to everyone’s benefit and is easier on the environment.”