ExxonMobil plans upgrading program at Australian refinery

ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary Mobil Refining Australia Pty. Ltd. is planning a multimillion-dollar (Aus.) investment to execute projects to expand capacity and improve efficiency at its 80,000-b/d Altona refinery in Victoria, 13 km west of Melbourne.

Alongside work on the refinery’s crude unit that will increase its processing capacity by 10,000 b/d to 90,000 b/d, the investment will cover technical projects designed to boost the refinery’s production of diesel and jet fuel as well as enable recovery of an additional 3 Mw of waste heat, Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s minister of industry and energy and resources, said.

The planned investment follows the more than $370 million (Aus.) that ExxonMobil has spent during the previous 5 years on maintenance and other improvements at refinery, said Andrew Warrell, Mobil Refining Australia’s manager.

Neither a timeframe for completion of the proposed projects nor the precise dollar amount of ExxonMobil’s investment were disclosed.

The Altona refinery produces as much as 13 million l./day of refined products (60% gasoline, 30% diesel, 10% jet fuel) and supplies LPG feedstock to Qenos Pty. Ltd.’s petrochemical plants at the Altona Chemical Complex (ACC), which in turn supply feedstock to ACC manufacturing plants operated by BASF SE and Dow Chemical Co.

ExxonMobil previously shut down its 74,000-b/cd refinery in Adelaide in 2003 amid overcapacity in Asia refining and stagnant economic growth (OGJ, Dec. 22, 2003, p. 64).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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