Helen Spelitis, 18 September 2015

THE output of the proposed Gladstone oil refinery – originally tipped to process 43,000 barrels of crude oil into premium gasoline and diesel per day – has expanded to 60,000 barrels.

While Casper Energy project director Duncan MacKenzie would not comment on changes to the overall value of the project, stated at US$700million when it was announced back in May, he did confirm it would create more than the 1000 construction jobs originally expected.

He said the expanded outlook for the project was supported by analysis of East Coast market conditions in the United States; gasoline demand there was higher than expected for the first half of this year, creating strong refinery wholesale margins.

If construction of the refinery does go ahead here in Gladstone, it will be the first new oil refinery to be built in Australia for 50 years.

Mr MacKenzie is confident in the viability of the project, despite a slumping crude oil price and there only being four refineries left in Australia.

He said this refinery would be “versatile” and capable of processing crude oils generally considered difficult and costly to refine, by using new technologies.

“That will mean we can source our crude oil from different markets to obtain a discount and maintain our margin,” Mr Mackenzie said.

The joint venture with American company Eagle Ford Oil and Gas Corporation will be built in the Gladstone State Development Area; creating 300 permanent jobs once the plant is in operation.

Mr MacKenzie will be a guest speaker at this year’s Gladstone Engineering Alliance conference on October 14-15. Tickets are on sale until October 2. For more information on the conference, visit gea.asn.au.

Extracted in full from the Gladstone Observer.

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