21 November 2014
Viva Energy Australia (Viva Energy) can confirm that it will hand back the fuel tanker Tandara Spirit when the current agreement expires in January 2015, and will not be replacing the vessel.
As a result of agreeing new contracts which significantly increase ground fuel sales in Victoria, Viva Energy’s requirement to export product from Victoria has considerably reduced. Consequently, Viva Energy no longer requires a dedicated coastal vessel to transport petroleum products within Australia.
Viva Energy will meet all obligations under the time charter agreement with Teekay Australia. The ship is returning to Singapore so that it can be prepared for re-delivery to its owners before the time charter expires.
Viva Energy continues to focus on its goal of ensuring the long-term viability of Geelong Refinery. Selling more fuel from Geelong into the Victorian market is good for the refinery.
Since taking this decision Viva Energy has held discussions with the ship operator, employees, unions and the government.
Viva Energy has very little need to export product to other states. If required, spot charters will be used and Viva Energy must abide by the regulations under the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012.
Australia wide, Viva Energy applies for, and uses, temporary licences and this includes transporting specialty products to multiple ports (which the Tandara Spirit does not carry). This process is in line with what is required under legislation.
Viva Energy expects vessel operators to comply with the all applicable legislation including the Maritime Labour Convention. Viva Energy has a rigorous ship vetting process and charter contracts specifically require vessel officers and crew to be covered by a bona fide trade union agreement acceptable to the International Transport Workers Federation.
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