The continued growth of large-scale, export-orientated refineries throughout Asia and the Middle East has structurally changed the Australian market.
Head of Country at bp Australia, Frédéric Baudry says, “BP’s Kwinana Refinery has played an important role in the development of Western Australia.
“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.”
Mr Baudry continues by saying that it was not an easy decision to cease refining.
“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. We deeply regret the job losses that will result and will do everything we can to support our people through the transition.”
The refinery currently employs around 650 people – 400 permanent staff and 250 contractors. The new terminal will support construction work out to 2022. Once complete, the import terminal is expected to support around 60 jobs.
“We are particularly excited by the shared ambitions with Western Australia to be net zero by 2050 and the opportunities this can offer,” says Mr Baudry.
Additionally, BP is also exploring future options for the site including a potential clean energy hub to harness the existing emerging technologies required for the decarbonisation of the Western Australian economy.
A multiuse clean energy hub could produce and store lower carbon fuels, including sustainable aviation and marine fuels and waste-to-energy solutions, such as renewable diesel.
BP Australia advises both the State and Federal Governments of its decision and appreciates their efforts to support the industry in Australia.