A new future appears to be in the works for the troubled Come By Chance oil refinery in Newfoundland and Labrador thanks to the planned purchase of the facility by United States-based private equity firm Cresta Fund Management.

The firm, which recently announced its intent to purchase a majority share in the refining side of the plant, plans to convert the refinery to make renewable aviation fuel and diesel from used cooking oil, corn oil and animal fat.

While it may seem a strange conversion for a crude oil refinery capable of refining 130,000 barrels of oil per day, some massive oil refineries in the United States are being converted into biofuel plants as part of a worldwide energy transition to lower carbon emissions and fight climate change.

United Steelworkers Local 9316 president Glenn Nolan told CBC News his union represents 335 workers at the refinery and says the deal will likely save hundreds of jobs, but not all. If no deal had been found, the facility faced permanent closure.

The Come By Chance facility was owned by North Atlantic Refinery Limited. North Atlantic had been looking for a new owner since last year, when a purchase agreement with Irving Oil fell through.

In January, the provincial government announced $16.6 million in public money for North Atlantic Refinery to keep the plant open in idle mode, which kept some employees working while owners searched for a buyer.