ExxonMobil Australia has confirmed it will cease operations at the Altona refinery in Victoria and convert the facility into an import terminal.
The decision was made following an extensive review of operations at Australia’s smallest refinery, which commenced operation in 1949.
According to ExxonMobil, the review considered the competitive supply of products into Australia, declining domestic crude oil production, future capital investments and the impacts of these factors on operating earnings.
ExxonMobil chairman Nathan Fay said the company was grateful for the tremendous efforts by its employees to improve the viability of the operation.
“We extend our thanks to the federal government for the significant support offered to Altona and other refineries. Our decision to convert our facility to a terminal is not a reflection of those efforts,” Fay said.
The Altona refinery will remain in operation while transition work is undertaken to ensure continued reliable fuel supply for its Mobil customers.
Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said ExxonMobil’s decision to close the Altona refinery was “extremely disappointing”.
“The refinery employs around 300 staff. Our thoughts are with all of the refinery’s workers, their families and the local community businesses that will be impacted by this decision,” Taylor said.
“The Australian Government expects ExxonMobil will provide whatever support is required to assist workers and the community during this difficult time.”