Viva Energy will look to process low sulphur fuel at its Corio refinery.

The Environment Protection Authority announced on Wednesday the energy giant had submitted an application to build a new sulphur removal processing unit with connections to the existing refinery.

Last year the company announced it would bring forward its transition to low-sulphur fuel from 2027 to 2024.

The proposed works are in response to changes in Australian fuel quality standards, with Viva Energy committing to the overhaul as part of the federal government’s refinery upgrades program.

Under the plans, a new gasoline treatment unit would use hydrogen to remove sulphur from gasoline blend components.

Modular construction would be used to assemble the new equipment onsite, transported through the Port of Geelong and offloaded onto barges.

Proposed upgrades to the refinery include two-pretreatment reactors, distillation towers, new furnaces, hydrogen compressors and civil and structural foundations for the new equipment.

Pippin would also connect the new equipment to existing refinery systems.

It comes three years after Viva Energy announced plans to transform the refinery into an energy hub, with plans underway to construct a hydrogen refuelling station in Corio and a controversial floating gas terminal moving through a state approvals process.

In addition to existing refinery operations, the Geelong Energy Hub, would include a gas terminal, a solar farm, hydrogen generation and refuelling, strategic tank storage, bio-processing and waste recycling,” the report read.

The unit is designed to remain online for routine maintenance, and would be shut down every three-five years for “significant inspection and maintenance”.

“Three or four years ago North America went to less than 10 parts per million in gasoline,” Viva Energy’s refining general manager Dale Cooper said at the time.

“(Australia) is catching up with the rest of the industrialised world. If you’re going to remain in the refining business, you’re going to have to make this investment (in low sulphur fuel) because otherwise you won’t have a gasoline product to sell.”

The EPA will host a community-drop in session for the application at the Rosewell Community Centre in Corio.

Staff and Viva Energy representatives will be able to answer questions from 5pm-7pm on Monday, July 10.

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Extracted in full from: Viva Energy’s low-sulphur fuel project revealed | Geelong Advertiser