General Manager, Mark Schubert, said: “This is a difficult, but necessary, decision aimed at improving the refinery’s sustainability.”

“I recognise this news is difficult for many employees and we are committed to supporting them through this period,” said Mark.

During the next four weeks Shell will be consulting with staff and union representatives in determining how the review outcome will be implemented, including offering voluntary redundancies.

“To ensure our performance is not compromised, we will retain a core Shell trade maintenance workforce, supported by contractors.

“For several years, we’ve improved our reliability and become smarter in our approach to maintenance. This has resulted in a reduction in breakdown work, meaning we do not require the same number of trade positions,” said Mark.

“Refining in Australia is highly competitive and for the Geelong refinery to be sustainable we need to make difficult changes like this.”

Shell’s commitment to the Geelong refinery is evident in its recent investments including more than $65 million in two major projects. A $20 million bitumen tanks and gantry project is under construction and due for completion in 2012. Shell is also investing $47.5 million in Barwon Water’s Northern Water Plant.

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For further information, please contact:

Jessica Marriner – Tel: 5273 8647 or Mob: 0410 655 162 (Geelong)

Paul Zennaro – Mob: 0417 007 344 (Melbourne)

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