BP to Cease Fuel Production at Oz Refinery
BP Australia has announced that it will cease fuel production at its Australian Kwinana refinery and convert the facility into an import terminal.
Regional oversupply and sustained low refining margins mean the refinery is no longer economically viable, according to BP, which said it had explored “multiple possibilities” for the refinery’s future but concluded that conversion was the best option.
The refinery, which has provided fuels for Western Australia for 65 years, currently employs around 650 people, 400 of which are permanent staff. Refining activities will wind down over the next six months, with a conversion workforce supporting site works, BP outlined. The new terminal will support construction work out to 2022 and, once complete, the import terminal is expected to support around 60 jobs, BP noted.
In addition to investing in an import terminal at Kwinana, BP said it is also exploring future options for the site, including a potential clean energy hub to harness the existing and emerging technologies required for the decarbonization of the Western Australian economy.
“BP’s Kwinana refinery has played an important role in the development of Western Australia,” BP Australia’s head of country, Frédéric Baudry, said in a company statement.
“It helped underpin the early development of the surrounding community and key industries. Generations of Western Australians have worked at the facility, building a fantastic legacy of safe and reliable operations that we will always be proud of,” he added.
“[The] decision to cease refining is a difficult one and not in any way a result of local policy settings. It comes in response to the long-term structural changes to the regional fuels market. Converting to an import terminal will not impact the safe and reliable supply of quality fuel products to Western Australia; however, it will require fewer people to run,” he went on to say.
The BP representative noted that the company deeply regrets the job losses that will occur and said BP will do everything it can to support its people through the transition.
BP has been operating in Australia for more than 100 years and is one of the country’s leading premium fuel retailers with around 1,400 branded retail fuel sites across the country, BP’s website outlines.
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