In further changes to Australia’s traditional refiners and their specialised business segments, BP has signed a sales and purchase agreement with Puma Energy to sell its local bitumen business.
Subject to regulatory and other approvals, BP hopes to complete the sale by the middle of this year. Puma will assume operatorship of sites in Brisbane, Townsville, Altona and Hobart.
BP’s focus is firmly on its downstream business in Australia, which includes key infrastructure nationally, the Kwinana Refinery in Western Australia, and an upgrade and expansion to its retail footprint across the country. Part of the expansion includes the opening of more than 20 new retail sites this year across Australia and New Zealand.
BP has recently signed with Metcash’s C-Store Distribution unit to supply groceries and other convenience store ranges to its 200 company-owned stores.
“Our decision to sell bitumen fits with our strategy of fuels growth and increased brand presence in key markets across Australia,” BP Australasia President Andy Holmes said. “It also enables us to concentrate our investment in our Australian fuels business to enhance our customer offer.
“BP has been operating in Australia for almost a century. In order to build a leading competitive position, we will continue to make changes to our business across Australia and New Zealand.”
BP will continue to operate the Kwinana-based bitumen production facilities for an interim period of at least 18 months to supply bitumen products to Puma Energy, who will take on all other operations and customers in the Perth market.