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18 Novembre 2020

Australia

BP SLAMS DOOR SHUT ON AUSTRALIAN OIL REFINERY

BP will permanently close its only oil refinery in Australia in a shock move that triggered demands from Labor and trade union leaders for the federal government to urgently intervene to get the decision reversed. Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the federal government was "deeply disappointed" by BP's decision to close the Kwinana refinery in Western Australia. The move is expected to lead to the loss of almost 600 jobs and could put in jeopardy fuel security on the west coast. The shutdown will dramatically shrink the country's dwindling capacity to produce transport fuels just as the Morrison government has been battling to keep critical manufacturing plants open. At least two of the country's other three refineries are already under review for possible closure despite the government's proposed $2.5 billion fuel security package, which includes a direct subsidy for local production. BP has already closed its Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane and will now close its Kwinana plant. Operations will be wound down in the March quarter of 2021 and the site converted into an import terminal, BP said, citing oversupply in Asia and stubbornly low refining margins that meant the plant "is no longer economically viable". BP's head in Australia, Frédéric Baudry, said the group appreciated the support offered by the federal government but it could not offset the "considerable" losses at the plant, which were due to structural changes in the market. ExxonMobil's Altona refinery in Victoria is also seen at risk of closure. "We will ensure Australia maintains a sovereign refining capability to support local industry, meet our nation’s needs during an emergency, and protect motorists from future higher prices," Mr Taylor said. The other three refiners are understood to be willing to work with the government on the subsidy initiative – the refinery production payment of 1.15¢ per litre – with the next round of formal meetings due to take place next week. The country's fleet of oil refineries has already been halved in little more than a decade, with Exxon, Shell, Ampol and BP all closing plants. (ICE SYDNEY)


Fonte notizia: AFR