Geelong’s Viva fuel refinery has secured a lucrative $450m-a-year defence force contract in a major economic windfall for the city.

Viva Energy will produce and supply specialist military aviation fuel to the Australian Defence Force for at least the next six years in a landmark deal worth an estimated $2.7bn.

The Corio facility is one of only two remaining oil refineries in the country and employs about 1000 people.

Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said the contract would see the company produce fuel for ADF aircraft and could be extended to 12 years.

Viva Energy refuelling a C17 Australian Defence Force aircraft.

Viva Energy refuelling a C17 Australian Defence Force aircraft.

Viva Energy chief executive, Scott Wyatt, called the agreement “significant” not only for Geelong but “the commitment to the nation’s energy security”.

Defence currently imports the specialist fuel and it has not been produced locally since 2013.

“We are delighted to extend our strategic relationship with the commonwealth and look forward to supporting the ADF’s Australian and international fuel requirements as a key enabler of their capability,” Mr Wyatt said.

As part of the deal, Viva will resume production of the military-specification aviation turbine fuel used on aircraft carriers, for machines such as F44 navy helicopters.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles (right) and Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy (left) following the release of the Defence Strategic Review Pic: Pema Tamang Pakhrin

“Currently, this high-flash jet fuel is manufactured and imported from overseas,” he said.

Minister Conroy said the contract would have a significant impact on the city.

“Coming after years of declining local oil refining and fuel production, this will be good for Australia’s defence, good for Australia’s energy security and good for Australian jobs,” he said.

“We are really pleased about the difference this will make in the regional centre of Geelong.”

Viva will supply fuel to all Defence Fuel Installations around Australia and the RMAF Base Butterworth in Malaysia under the new agreement.

Extracted in full from: Viva Energy signs lucrative $2.7bn Australian Defence Force fuel supply contract | Geelong Advertiser

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