ExxonMobil’s Altona refinery, located 13 kilometres west of Melbourne, will expand production from 80,000 barrels per day to 90,000 barrels per day. Diesel fuel and jet fuel will make up the increased output.
“What makes this significant is it is the first time we have grown our crude processing capacity since 2005,” said Andrew Warrell, refining manager for Australia and New Zealand.
The expansion will reverse the trend of the previous decade.
“Back in 2005 we went through a pretty tough and confronting time as a business. We actually shrank in order to survive, so I hope you can all appreciate how exciting it is for everyone who works here to be back in a phase of renewal and growth,” he said.
An investment of AUD 20 million (USD 14.7 million) will allow the addition of a pre-distillation stage added to one of the existing crude oil units at Altona.
The Altona refinery supplies half of the Australian state of Victoria’s fuel needs.
This upgrade will also allow the equivalent of 3 megawatts of heat which is currently wasted to be captured and recycled.
The expansion work will begin this month and will be completed in mid-2017.