Gas powers growth of Geelong bakery

10 Mar 2022

More than 100,000 delicious pastries are baked every week in the gas-fired ovens at the heart of Geelong’s leading wholesale bakery.

Routleys Bakery is one of about 65,000 industrial and commercial users of natural gas in Victoria with the busy North Geelong bakery and its more than 100 staff heavily dependent on industrial gas appliances.

Operations manager Sam Routley is clear what would happen to his growing business without a secure gas supply to power the bakery’s seven rack ovens and meat cookers.

“A short supply of gas really affects our ability to bake anything,” Sam says. “We will come to a grinding halt without a steady gas supply.”

Sam welcomes Viva Energy’s bid to address the state’s forecast gas shortage by the end of the decade through its proposal for an LNG import terminal at the Geelong Refinery.

Without a secure gas supply, potential disruption to the bakery includes replacement of capital equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and adapting its cooking equipment and processes.

One of the attractions of natural gas for industry is that it heats rapidly, efficiently and consistently.

“To plan to change everything would require such a big outlay. All our stuff is run on gas and it’s near impossible to change,” Sam says.

“We are just hoping the gas doesn’t run out.”

Sam is otherwise optimistic about the future of the third-generation family business which has launched a fresh sandwich range employing a dozen staff and is also about to open a new retail store in Little Malop St in Geelong’s CBD.

Viva Energy has just completed an Environment Effects Statement for the import terminal project, with plans to have it come online in time to avoid the gas shortages forecast to hit Victorian homes and businesses by the mid-2020s.

The planned LNG import terminal is part of Viva Energy’s vision to invest in a new energy mix, including renewables, at the Geelong Energy Hub.

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