Three of the last bidders for Shell Canadas refinery in east Montreal have withdrawn their interest.
Shell Canada has been trying to find a buyer for the 135,000 barrels a day oil refinery for a year. The withdrawal of the last of three potential bidders from talks means the refinery will continue to produce petroleum products until September.
Production will then discontinue as the work of converting the plant into a distribution terminal begins.
The terminal will require only 25 permanent employees, sparking concerns for the current workforce of 500.
Spokesman Ed Greenberg says Shell is determined to treat the employees fairly, with the company organising two career days and taking other steps to help them find new jobs.
With the terminal we'll continue to supply our Quebec customers with top quality and innovative petrol, diesel and aviation fuels, Greenberg adds.
The shutdown will leave Montreal with just one refinery, five less than during the 1970s.