Investing in Geelong for the future

24 Feb 2020

Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd (‘Viva Energy’) announced today that it will invest over $100 million in amajor capital maintenance program during 2020.

Known as a ‘Cracker Turnaround’, the program will involve shutting down the core of the refinery for almost two months while central elements of the plant undergo a significant overhaul to prolong its operating life.

The ‘Cracker Turnaround’ provides employment certainty for around the 700 full-time jobs at the refinery and will create almost 1000 additional roles for the duration of the program.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the release of the company’s 2019 financial results, which outlined a strong operational performance in its refining business including record levels of crude intake and production.

Viva Energy CEO, Scott Wyatt said that the program was a major investment in the ongoing operation of the refinery and will ensure that we continue to maintain the highest levels of safety, reliability and efficiency into the future.

“The refinery in Corio has been an important part of Geelong for more than 65 years, employing and sustaining generations of Geelong workers.”

“Our announcement is a significant commitment to the continued operation of one of the region’s last remaining industrial businesses, and to the broader Geelong region,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Geelong refinery produces around half of Victoria’s liquid fuel requirements and also plays a significant role in meeting the country’s energy security needs, with around 30 percent of the crude processed coming from local Australian oil fields.”

“Rising energy costs and weaker regional refining margins have impacted the refinery’s profitability in recent years, but the company remains optimistic about the future of refining in Australia.”

“I am particularly pleased with the progress we have achieved over the last year at Geelong. We have maintained a strong safety and environmental performance, achieved record levels of production, and undertaken a number of innovative initiatives to improve efficiency. Our electricity agreement with Acciona, for example, is not only supporting renewable electricity generation at Mt Gellibrand but also helping to reduce our energy costs at the refinery.”

“Looking beyond the investment announced today, the company is also beginning to plan for the potential future investment necessary to reduce the sulphur content in petrol to support new vehicle technology which will help reduce emissions. This will need to be in place before 2027 when new federal government fuel standards take effect in the middle of that year,” Mr Wyatt said.

‘Cracker Turnaround’ Facts

  • A huge army of specialists will descend on the plant to work on the project 24 hours a day for the duration of the shutdown, addressing more than 1,500 scope items involving 300,000 work-hours.
  • By the time the ‘Cracker Turnaround’ is completed – expected before the end of 2020 – Viva Energy will have invested around $600 million in maintaining and expanding the refinery since purchasing it in 2015.
  • The Geelong Refinery is the only manufacturer in Australia that makes bitumen for roads, and aviation fuel for piston engine light aircraft.

About Viva Energy

Viva Energy is one of Australia’s leading energy companies and supplies approximately a quarter of the country’s liquid fuel requirements. It is the exclusive supplier of high quality Shell fuels and lubricants in Australia through an extensive network of more than 1,260 service stations across the country

Viva Energy Australia owns and operates the strategically located Geelong Refinery in Victoria, and operates bulk fuels, aviation, bitumen, marine, chemicals and lubricants businesses supported by more than 20 terminals and 50 airports and airfields across the country.