PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Oil and gas major Shell was looking to divest of its 120 000 bl/d Geelong refinery, its last remaining refinery in the country.
The sale of the Geelong refinery was part of Shell’s global strategy to concentrate its investment on large-scale sites, such as the Pulau Bukom refinery, in Singapore. The closure of the Geelong plant followed Shell’s 2011 announcement that it would close its Clyde refinery, in Sydney.
Shell said in a statement that if it was unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the Geelong refinery, the company would look at other options for the operation, including converting it into an import terminal.
Downstream VP Andrew Smith on Thursday acknowledged that the sales process would create a period of uncertainty for employees, but added that the company was committed to a timely sales process, providing support to shareholders during this period.
“I understand this announcement will be difficult for refinery employees, but Shell will support them through this period of uncertainty,” he added.
Shell planned to find a buyer who would show due care for employees, provide reliable supply for the company and its customers, and run the facility safely with respect for the environment and the Geelong community.
Smith said the company committed to make an announcement of any successful buyer as soon as it could, and aimed to conclude the sales process by the end of 2014.
“Shell is one of Australia’s largest private sector investors, and remains committed to its business in Australia,” he added.