Viva Energy Group Ltd. approved funding to upgrade the Geelong oil refinery to produce ultra-low sulphur gasoline.
The improvement in quality of petrol produced at the refinery, which lies 50 km west of Melbourne in Victoria, will help reduce vehicle emissions and improve the refinery’s crude processing flexibility, Viva said.
Project cost is estimated at $300 million (Aus.) with Viva receiving $125 million under the Australian Federal Government’s refinery upgrades program (OGJ Online, May 24, 2021).
The project is expected to be completed over the next 3 years, with some $50-70 million likely to be spent this year.
Viva recently committed to continue refining in Australia through mid-2028 and to construct an additional 90 ML of diesel storage to improve Victoria’s fuel supply security.
Separately, Viva agreed to acquire LyondellBasell Australia (LBA), a Geelong-based national polymer manufacturer and distributor which has its production facility inside the Geelong refinery footprint.
LBA is Australia’s only polypropylene manufacturer with customers across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, India, the Middle East, and North America.
The acquisition is another step in the development of Viva’s planned Geelong energy hub, said Scott Wyatt, Viva’s chief executive officer (OGJ Online, June 16, 2020).