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15 Feb. 2019

70 years on and going strong in the Altona community

While very few local residents would remember an Altona without the Mobil Refinery, the positive contribution it has made over the past 70 years would have been felt by many.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of operations at the Altona Refinery which commenced with the production of lubricants and bitumen in 1949.

Built at an initial construction cost of £1,000,000, widely acknowledged as an enormous investment at the time, the Altona Refinery was considered the most modern of its kind in the world. A reputation which was bolstered in 1955 when the refinery undertook a £20,000,000 project to extend its product range into motor vehicle fuels and, in 1956, produce Australia’s first locally made aviation gasoline.

Today, the Mobil Altona Refinery continues to thrive, contributing approximately $270 million to the Victorian economy every year. As a pillar of the Australian transportation industry, Mobil Altona also supplies approximately half of Victoria’s fuel needs.

Mobil Altona Refinery General Manager Riccardo Cavallo lauded the continued growth of the refinery but noted that people need to look beyond the raw figures to truly appreciate its impact which extends far beyond fuel production.

“70 years of operation in Altona represents a great deal of investment across many fields. It means decades of supporting the livelihoods of local residents through creating jobs and the continued support of small businesses in Altona.

“It also means 70 years of assisting local charities as well as community and environmental groups to ensure Altona remains a friendly, clean and prosperous neighbourhood.

“Furthermore, we have a proud history of investing in Altona’s most valuable resource, its children, through a range of educational initiatives such as the Mobil’s Bright Future grants program,” said Riccardo.

70th anniversary notwithstanding, 2019 is also a unique and exciting time for the Altona Refinery which is currently in the process of expanding its capacity through the construction of a new 100 million litre storage tank which will help it meet Australia’s growing demand for fuel.

“As we celebrate the past, we also look forward with optimism towards a bright future for the Altona Refinery and the community as a whole,” said Riccardo.

Altona Refinery historic
Photo — An aerial shot of the Altona Refinery site circa 1949.

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