Two domestic oil refineries in Queensland and Victoria will match the Coalition’s pledge of a $250 million total government investment for major infrastructure upgrades to their facilities.
The Ampol refinery in Lytton and the Viva Energy refinery in Geelong will each receive a $125 million grant from Scott Morrison’s government if returned to power. The money has been accounted for in the budget’s fuel security package, which locked in future operations for both the refineries.
“Oil refineries literally fuel a stronger economy and these investments will help keep our truckies, miners, defence force and farmers moving across Australia.
“Our plan for a stronger future locks in Australia’s refining capabilities and will ensure upgrades are made to improve the quality of our fuel,” Morrison said.
The Coalition leader made his latest election campaign announcement on Wednesday, explaining more than $500 million of public and private sector investment would go to local communities and secure national fuel production and supply.
“These investments also protect the 1,250 existing refinery jobs and support the creation of around 500 more construction jobs across Lytton in Brisbane and Geelong,” Morrison said.
The government grants cover 50% of total eligible project expenditure up to the maximum grant of $125 million, and upgrade works should be finalised by the end of 2024.
Upgrading the facilities will help strengthen local capability to produce ultra-low sulfur petrol products, and the industry, energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor said this would allow the government to introduce a new standard from 2027 to 2024. Taylor claimed this would also have flow-on benefits to improve air quality, saving more than $1 billion in health costs.
“As well as enabling the production of better quality fuels, our landmark refinery production payments continue to provide taxpayers with lower than budgeted payments, with both refineries not needing any support in the second quarter,” Taylor said.
The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources confirmed both the Lytton and Geelong refineries had performed so well they would not get a government payment under the Fuel Security Services scheme’s second period. In the first quarter of the scheme, only Viva Energy received a payment worth $12.45 million.