The decision recognised the Clyde Refinery was no longer regionally competitive against Asian mega-refineries.
Shell’s vice-president Australia downstream, Andrew Smith, said the company would continue to grow its New South Wales business through its strategic infrastructure assets at Clyde and Gore Bay.
He said Shell remains committed to servicing its customers through a reliable supply of fuel into the state.
“While this is a sad day for Shell’s operations in New South Wales and many of our employees at the refinery, the decision to convert Clyde into a terminal is consistent with Shell’s strategy to focus its refining portfolio on larger assets, and to build a profitable downstream business here in Australia,” he said.
Mr Smith said this news would be very difficult for many employees and Shell was committed to supporting them through the transition.
“Everyone at Shell acknowledges the valuable contribution made by Clyde and Gore Bay employees in servicing New South Wales customers for around 100 years, and Shell will look to identify redeployment opportunities where possible,” he said.
“The decision follows a proposal made in April and consultation with more than 94% of employees at Clyde and Gore Bay, along with their representatives. In making this decision, Shell took into account all of the views expressed and alternatives proposed during consultation.”
Refining at Clyde will cease prior to mid 2013. The process to convert Clyde refinery and Gore Bay into terminal operations will cover four stages:
- design of the new facilities;
- transition from refining to terminal operations;
- works to improve efficiency and operability of the terminal; and preparation for future development of up to 40 hectares of refinery land.
The decision about Clyde’s future is not related to Shell’s Geelong Refinery and was not reached as a result of any government policy – including any proposed price on carbon.
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Media inquiries: Paul Zennaro, senior media adviser, 0417-007-344.