The all-clear has been sounded after emergency services responded to an incident at Viva Refinery on Friday afternoon, following community calls concerning smoke in the area.

Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) issued the message at 2.15pm after a “minor incident” at Viva Refinery on Refinery Rd, Corio.

It’s understood there is no building fire and no one has been injured, following earlier reports of a building fire.

A Viva Energy spokesman said the Geelong Refinery sounded a minor alarm after a disruption to a refining unit.

“The disruption has resulted in increased visible flaring from the refinery’s safety flare system,” the spokesman said.

“This is the safety flare operating as it should and is no cause for community concern.

“Work is underway to stabilise the affected unit and relevant authorities, including Fire Rescue Victoria, EPA and WorkSafe have been notified.

“Viva Energy apologises for any concern.”

FRV issued a stay informed message for 43 suburbs in central Geelong.

Images showed thick black smoke issuing from the flare, visible from main roads surrounding the site.

“There is a minor incident at VIVA Refinery, that is causing plenty of smoke in and around the vicinity of Corio and neighbouring areas,” FRV said.

“Smoke will visible from nearby roads and communities.

“Firefighters are currently on scene.

“Emergency services will remain in the area.”

An FRV spokeswoman said responding firefighters found a “larger than normal” burn off flare, issuing more smoke and flames than usual.

“The issue is believed to have been caused by the failure of two cooling pumps after seaweed became blocked in the system,” the spokeswoman said.

“Another pump remained in operation and work to rectify the fault was successful.”

An all-clear was declared as of 3.30pm.

The Viva Energy spokesman said the all-clear had sounded at the Geelong Refinery after disruption to a unit caused increased flaring from the safety flare system.

“The unit has now been stabilised,” he said.

“As the refinery returns to normal operation, there is the potential for increased flaring over the next 24 hours.

“Viva Energy apologises for any concern caused by the increased flaring.”

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