Shell plans major bitimen refining investment in Australia

Source: Shell

Shell Australia today announced two major investments in bitumen facilities to help meet demand across eastern Australia. 

The investment will help Shell supply additional bitumen for road reconstruction efforts in southeast Queensland and northwest Victoria that is expected to last for a number of years. 

The combined investment of $27 million will create construction jobs in both Brisbane and Geelong, while increased supply will help service civil construction customers into the future. 

Shell’s marketing general manager Craig James announced the construction of a new bitumen facility at Shell’s Geelong Refinery, and an upgrade of existing facilities at the company’s Pinkenba site on the Brisbane River. 

He said the $20 million investment in Geelong would include four new hot bitumen tanks and a new road gantry for loading trucks. 

He added the $7 million investment in Shell’s Pinkenba bitumen facility would take advantage of the import capability of Shell’s new wharf on the Brisbane River, and would double the plant’s capacity. 

“We view bitumen as a key growth area for Shell’s Australian business and these facilities will improve supply to civil contractor customers for many years to come,” Mr James said. 

“In a country as large as Australia there is a high demand for the bitumen used to construct roads, but we are expecting a spike in local demand caused by flood damage that will last for some years.” 

Mr James said that as well as expanding Shell’s bitumen capacity, the upgrades will support local manufacture of specialty products such as Shell’s Multiphalte range - the leading product for Australian airport runway surfacing. This product was recently used on both Adelaide and Melbourne airport upgrades. 

“Shell is working with civil contractors and road authorities across Australia to bring technologically advanced bitumen products to market,” he said. 

Mr James added the bitumen investments were part of a much larger capital program to support Shell’s aggressive plans to grow its marketing business in Australia. 

Shell has operated in Australia for 110 years, and is the leading local supplier of bitumen. The company also supplies fuel to the aviation and marine industries, chemicals, lubricants and fuel to 950 Shell branded service stations across the nation.

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