Geelong refinery occupies 120 hectares of land adjacent to Corio Bay in Geelong, Victoria and is one of the largest refineries remaining in Australia. It currently supplies more than 50% of Victoria’s fuel.
The refinery can process up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day. About 90% of crude and other feedstock arrives at the refinery via ship. Crude oil arrives by ship from Asia (e.g. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia), West Africa (e.g. Algeria and Gabon), United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, and via the Western Port-Altona-Geelong (WAG) pipeline from Australia’s Bass Strait. Oilfields condensate are also trucked in from a number of Victorian and South Australian gas fields.
Products produced at the refinery include:
- Petrol (25% being higher octane grades including 98 octane Shell V-Power)
- Jet fuel
- Automotive and commercial LPG
- Propylene feedstock for the co-located Lyondell-Basell polypropylene plant
- Specialty solvents
- Low-aromatic fuel (to support the Federal Government’s petrol sniffing prevention programme)
All petrol manufactured is low benzene and all diesel manufactured is ultra-low sulphur, in accordance with the Federal Government’s Clean Fuels Legislation and Australian Fuel Quality Standards.
Low-volatility petrol is made in accordance with Victorian State Government requirements.
The use of low-benzene petrol produced by the refinery has reduced benzene emissions from vehicles. At the same time, benzene emissions from the refinery - while already well within public health and environmental guidelines - have dropped significantly.
Geelong’s primary distillation unit produces light and middle distillates and residue. The light distillates are processed to upgrade quality and remove sulphur. They are then split into gas (used as refinery furnace fuel), liquid petroleum gas (LPG), petrol and kerosene.
The petrol stream is processed further to improve the octane rating. The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of petrol to auto-ignition (engine knocking) in spark-ignition internal-combustion engines. The higher the octane rating, the greater the power from an appropriately designed and tuned engine.
Middle distillates are light gas oil (diesel) and heavy gas oil. Residue is used primarily as the feedstock to the cat-cracking unit and is also used to make fuel oil. The cat-cracking plant converts residue into refinery fuel gas, LPG, petrol, diesel products and fuel oil.
The Lyondell-Basell company operates a polypropylene plant on the refinery site that takes propylene feed from the cat-cracker to make polypropylene plastic.
The flare is one of the more noticeable parts of the refinery and is actually a safety valve. For more information about the flare and the role it plays at the refinery read the Flare Fact sheet (PDF 42.1KB).
About 65% of Geelong refinery’s production is transported by pipeline to our terminal in Newport (Melbourne) for distribution by truck throughout Victoria. Some Geelong refinery production is distributed by road directly from the refinery to customers in Geelong and Western Victoria.