A more than $60m project to increase diesel storage at the Geelong refinery will result in the Corio site playing an increasingly important role in securing Australia’s fuel supplies.

A more than $60m project to increase diesel storage at the Geelong refinery will result in the Corio site playing an increasingly important role in securing Australia’s fuel supplies.

New tanks able to store an additional 90 million litres of diesel will be partly funded by the federal government, which on Thursday announced a grant to Viva Energy for up to $33.3m for the project.

Construction of the refinery’s largest finished-product tanks will support the company’s minimum fuel stockholding obligations under the government’s Fuel Security Package, which is providing up to $100m a year to Viva Energy to protect it from fluctuating oil margins.

While electric vehicles are seen as the future of transport, heavy-duty diesel trucks and machinery used in agriculture, mining and transport are expected to be needed for decades and the government is aiming to increase national diesel storage to 28 days of average consumption to ensure a reliable supply.

Viva Energy’s executive general manager of refining Dale Cooper said the new tanks would be critical in maintaining the supply of diesel into Victoria, particularly following the closure of the refinery in Altona.

“These new tanks will increase our storage at Geelong, which will allow far more flexibility to manage supply, resulting in greater fuel security for Victoria and improved production levels at the refinery,” Mr Cooper said.

“This is great news as our refinery prepares for the next phase of its future, where it will be playing a key role in Australia’s strategic fuel storage, delivering cleaner, low-sulphur fuels and forming an important part of Viva Energy’s Geelong Energy Hub.”

Victorian Liberal senator Sarah Henderson said increased diesel storage would ensure truckies, tradies, farmers and commuters had access to reliable fuel, while boosting employment through an expected 80 new jobs.

“This is a very significant win for Geelong manufacturing jobs,” Senator Henderson said.

“The project will also help secure the sovereign fuel stocks we need while continuing support for Australia’s refineries.”

The refinery currently supplies more than 220 million litres of diesel a month from both refined and imported product.

The project to build the tanks remains subject to final approval and confirmation of the grant terms and agreement, but construction could begin early next year.

Extracted in full from: Viva Energy: diesel storage project worth $60m secures key role | Geelong Advertiser

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