Emergency services have been called to Geelong’s oil refinery at least 12 times in 2019, again rushing to a leak at the Corio plant on Monday.

The CFA was called to the Viva Refinery about 12pm on Monday, responding to a reported leak in a crude oil production line.

A spokesman for Viva Energy confirmed the leak on Monday afternoon.

“Viva Energy can advise that the minor alarm has sounded at the Geelong Refinery due to a small leak,” the spokesman said.

“As per procedure, the CFA are on site. Work is underway to isolate the leak”

A CFA spokesman confirmed seven appliances were “responding to reports of a leak” at the refinery on Monday.

It is the 12th time the CFA has been called to the refinery so far this year, according to Viva Energy.

“During 2019, the CFA has attended the refinery six times for Incidents for Inspection and six times for minor alarms. There have been no major alarms to date in 2019,” a Viva Energy spokesman said.

“The CFA attend the site in accordance with our standard operating procedures as they play an important role in the refinery’s emergency response protocol even for relatively minor incidents to ensure we have on hand the resources we need.”

The latest leak comes after an eventful year for the refinery, including explosions, raining chemicals and foul smelling odours wafting from the site.

In May, Viva Energy’s general manager Thys Heyns confirmed a “combustion event” temporarily shut down operations at the refinery — with a build-up of excess gas causing a metal pipe to combust.

“The fact (was) we did have an incident, it was very short-lived,” Mr Heyns said at the time. “No one was injured. Inquiries were made and it was reported both to the Environmental Protection Authority and Worksafe.”

In March, droplets of a “black grease-like” chemical showered nearby properties, with testing done by Viva Energy finding a chemical used to refine petrol had been released into the air from its flare stack.

In June a foul-smelling chemical odour wafted from the refinery, leaving nearby residents reporting dizziness, headaches and nausea.

Viva Energy confirmed the strong stink came from the maintenance to sulphur recovery units at the plant.

“We apologise to the community for any discomfort or inconvenience the odour may have caused, and are working to prevent any recurrence,” a spokesman said at the time.

Extracted from Herald Sun