The end of an era and the start of a new chapter for Mobil in Altona

Over more than 70 years of operation, Altona refinery has kept pace with changes in technology and regulations to ensure the reliable supply of quality Mobil fuels to our customers, while carefully managing any impacts on our neighbors and the environment.

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The end of an era and the start of a new chapter for Mobil in Altona
Over more than 70 years of operation, Altona refinery has kept pace with changes in technology and regulations to ensure the reliable supply of quality Mobil fuels to our customers, while carefully managing any impacts on our neighbors and the environment. 

“Altona Refinery has played a pivotal role in the community and the nation, helping to meet Australia’s need for refined fuels and positively impacting the lives of local residents through employment and community initiatives,” said Altona refinery manager, Riccardo Cavallo.

“As a fuel import terminal, the Altona site will remain one of Australia’s key fuel logistics operations, supporting Australia’s fuel security and economic well-being and continuing to provide local employment opportunities.”

The Altona refinery currently meets a significant proportion of Victoria’s refined fuel needs, so refinery operations will only cease once the terminal conversion is complete and Mobil is confident we can maintain the reliable supply of quality fuels our customers have come to rely on.

As work begins to convert the Altona refinery to an import terminal, let’s take a look back at some of the key milestones in the refinery’s long history.

1946

Mobil began constructing Altona refinery in 1946. Sprawled over 200 hectares, the refinery commenced operations in June 1949, initially making lubricating oil and bitumen from imported crude oil.

1955

In 1955, a multi-million dollar expansion program came on stream extending the refinery's product range into motor vehicle fuels and, in 1956, it produced Australia's first locally made aviation gasoline.

1970

The discovery of vast reserves of crude oil and gas in Bass Strait in the early 1960's saw a further expansion and modification of the Altona Refinery in 1970 to allow it to process local Bass Strait crude.

1997

In 1997 a major modernisation project saw the old Thermofor Catalytic Cracker (TCC) replaced with a modern unit known as a Fluidised Catalytic Cracker, which significantly improved efficiency by allowing the refinery to process a larger range of crude oil. 

2005

In November 2005 further upgrades to the Altona Refinery were completed to enable the production of clean fuels consistent with new environmental standards.

2019

In 2019, the refinery celebrated 70 years of operation with the community during a Motorcars and Memorabilia event in Altona.

2021

Mobil announces that Altona refinery will be converted to an import terminal, heralding the start of a new era for the refinery site.
Work is already underway as we begin to plan for the Altona refinery’s conversion to an import terminal, heralding the start of a new era for Mobil in Melbourne’s west. As an import terminal, the Altona site will require ongoing support from our people, our neighbours and other important stakeholders in our community.