BP shutters Kwinana Refinery after 65 years, hundreds to lose jobs

  • October 30, 2020 06:22 PM AEDT
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BP shutters Kwinana Refinery after 65 years, hundreds to lose jobs


  • BP Australia announced to shut the fuel production from the Kwinana Refinery after 65 years of operations and convert it into an import terminal.
  • The boost in refining capacity of Asia and the Middle East based refineries has changed the market dynamics and reduced the refinery margin for the Kwinana Refinery.
  • The refinery complex currently employs 650 people, once converted into import terminal would employ 60 staffs.

BP Australia has announced to cease fuel production from its Western Australia-based Kwinana Refinery. The refinery has been in operation for the past 65 years and has supported the growth of many industries in the region around the refinery complex.

The Kwinana Refinery is located 35 Km from Perth and is the largest refinery by capacity in Australia. Commissioned in 1955, the refinery has a crude refining capacity of 146,000 barrels per day.

BP Australia blamed the shutdown decision on the consistently low refinery margin, saying that the operations were no more economically viable. The boost in refining capacity of Asian and Middle-Eastern countries has changed the market dynamics of the Australian domestic market. The company has decided to transform the infrastructure into a fuel import terminal.

The Kwinana Refinery complex currently employs a total of 650 people, 400 permanent and 250 contractual staffs. BP Australia has planned to wrap the refining operations over the next 6 months. Most of the employees will be retained through 2022 through support works on the site. Once the terminal becomes operational, it would employee 60 staffs.

BP is engaged in upstream exploration and production of crude oil, LNG and natural gas in Australia alongside a dominant role in refining and retailing of fuels. BP has 350 retail fuel sites and more than 1000 branded retail sites operated by independent business partners.

BP has plans to become a net-zero emission company by 2050. The shutting down of the refinery business in Australia lowers the carbon footprint of the company. BP is currently involved in gas exploration in the North West Shelf in a joint venture.

Fredric Baudry, BP Australia Country Head, said that the shutting of refinery operation would not impact the availability and security of fuels. He further added that out of many options, turning it to import terminal was the most viable and best option. BP is also planning to start a large scale hydrogen export plant in Geraldton in collaboration with the federal government.



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