Converting Altona refinery to the Mobil Melbourne terminal

Fuelling Victoria for the long haul

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Converting Altona refinery to the Mobil Melbourne terminal

Converting Altona refinery to the Mobil Melbourne terminal

The Mobil Melbourne terminal will leverage existing refinery facilities and infrastructure to become one of the largest and most efficient fuel import and storage facilities in Australia.

The conversion of Altona refinery to an import terminal is a complex task and there will be lots of activity at the Altona site over the next few years.

Commissioning of initial terminal infrastructure

Works at the refinery to allow Mobil to import fuel through its deep-water port at Gellibrand wharf and store the fuel in existing tanks before transferring it to Yarraville terminal will soon be finalised.

Initially, the imported fuel will be stored in two large tanks at the Altona site. The works that we are planning to complete this year include preparing these tanks, along with the pipeline that connects the Altona site to Gellibrand wharf, for the storage and transfer of refined fuels. Mobil has also installed new pumps to connect these tanks to the Mobil pipelines that send fuel to Yarraville terminal.

Customers will continue to collect fuel from the Mobil Yarraville terminal.

Our customers, and all Victorians, can rely on Mobil to maintain our supply of quality Mobil fuels throughout this transition. The below animation provides an overview of Mobil’s Melbourne supply chain.

 

Shutdown of refinery operations

Most facilities associated with the fuel refining process at Altona refinery have now been shut down and are no longer operating.  We have removed all product from the refinery processing units, leaving them in a safe state until further decommissioning works commence in early 2022.

Some parts of the refinery will continue to operate into 2022, including the flares and the boilers, to ensure a safe site, while common infrastructure between the existing refi Fnery and the new terminal is effectively integrated over the coming year.  As a result, the community may continue to see a small flame from the flare stack or steam coming from parts of the refinery. More information regarding the flare and its use is available in this fact sheet.

Decommissioning refinery infrastructure

Mobil is currently planning what would be required to safely decommission refinery infrastructure that will not be part of the future terminal.  As part of our planning, we will take into consideration proposed future uses of the site, including the terminal operations.

Decommissioning the refinery infrastructure will be complex, as the utility services required by the terminal operations are integrated with the former refinery processing areas. These utilities will need to be replaced prior to final decommissioning to ensure we can maintain our reliable supply of fuel to our customers. 

Future decommissioning work will take a number of years to plan and complete.  At each stage of the planning process, we will obtain all required regulatory approvals before beginning work.

Review of options for future use of the site

Mobil will continue to operate a fuel import and storage terminal at the Altona site, primarily utilising tanks to the north of Kororoit Creek Road and associated infrastructure on the former refinery site.

It is likely that there will be sections of Altona refinery land that will be surplus to the needs of the future terminal operations and we will look to make these available for other beneficial uses as soon as practical.

Mobil is in the early stages of assessing potential options for future land use in a submission into the Hobsons Bay Industrial Land Management Strategy Study through the ‘Reimagining our Industrial Areas’ Project. This project is open for public participation through the HBCC website. 

Mobil’s submission to the Industrial Land Management Strategy Study will be public, so everyone will be able to review what opportunities there may be for commercial or community use of Mobil’s land.

We hope that the future site use will provide opportunities for industrial and commercial sector use, aligned with the HBCC local policies, to support economic growth in the City of Hobsons Bay, as well as maintain the appropriate buffer areas required for the ongoing operation of the Mobil fuels terminal. Any changes to land use and ownership will be subject to the appropriate Council planning controls and public consultation where required under the existing planning policies.  

For commercial proposals or other ideas please submit an Expression of Interest.


Environmental considerations

Mobil will continue working with the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria (EPA) to ensure our ongoing compliance with EPA requirements. This includes both the appropriate remediation of areas to reflect any potential future changes to land use, as well as maintaining our compliance with EPA requirements for operational areas of the terminal.

As the Altona site is no longer manufacturing fuels, its environmental performance has improved, including: 

  • elimination of most air emissions
  • reduction in noise impacts
  • substantial reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions
  • elimination of most solid and liquid wastes taken offsite for processing. 

Mobil continue to seek ways to further improve the environmental performance of the terminal transition activities, and ongoing terminal operations. For example, we are exploring the use of innovative ways to reduce waste from the decommissioning works by engaging specialist contractor services to reuse or recycle materials.

Mobil community news

Access the latest information regarding Mobil’s operations in Australia, including what’s happening at the Altona site, at the Mobil community news page.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll through the information below for answers to some commonly asked questions.

Will Mobil remain active in the local community?

Mobil will continue to foster our relationships with local community groups and schools throughout this transition.

Will there be noticeable changes to Mobil’s operations at Gellibrand? 

There should not be any noticeable changes to Mobil’s operations at Gellibrand.

How will this impact the refinery’s buffer zones and those living next to pipelines?

Mobil is in the early stages of assessing potential options for future land use as a submission to the Hobsons Bay Industrial Land Management Strategy Study. Buffer zones surrounding the site are determined by the relevant authorities including the EPA, WorkSafe Victoria and Hobsons Bay City Council. 

The Mobil fuels terminal will continue to be classified as a ‘Major Hazard Facility’ by Worksafe Victoria under The Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Regulations (Part 5.2). As such, areas surrounding the Mobil site will continue to require relevant planning controls, including the provision of buffer zones in the local community, to ensure development surrounding the terminal is safe and appropriate. The buffer zones will remain around the refinery process areas and existing tankage until decommissioning works are completed and a review of the buffer areas can be undertaken.

Any future changes to buffer zones will be undertaken in conjunction with Hobsons Bay City Council and Worksafe Victoria, after reassessment and review of changes at the site.

At this stage we do not anticipate any changes for people living next to Mobil pipelines as these will continue to support the terminal operations.

Can I develop my property in the Altona refinery buffer zone now? 

Mobil is in the early stages of assessing potential options for future land use as a submission to the Hobsons Bay Industrial Land Management Strategy Study. Buffer zones surrounding the site are determined by the relevant authorities including the EPA, WorkSafe Victoria and Hobsons Bay City Council. 

The Mobil fuels terminal will continue to be classified as a ‘Major Hazard Facility’ by Worksafe Victoria under The Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Regulations (Part 5.2).  As such, areas surrounding the Mobil site will continue to require relevant planning controls, including the provision of buffer zones in the local community, to ensure development surrounding the terminal is safe and appropriate.  The buffer zones will remain around the refinery process areas and existing tankage until decommissioning works are completed and a review of the buffer areas can be undertaken.

Any future changes to buffer zones will be undertaken in conjunction with Hobsons Bay City Council and Worksafe Victoria, after reassessment and review of changes at the site.

How is Mobil managing the impacts to local business who rely on the refinery?

Mobil is liaising with local businesses and customers to explain our changing operations and keep them informed of our progress as we transition to an import terminal.

The future terminal site will continue to rely on services and supplies from local businesses, though this may be in a different way. We hope that any other future site use will provide opportunities to support economic growth in the City of Hobsons Bay.

Will Mobil keep the community informed?

Mobil is committed to continuing to engage with our neighbours.

For the foreseeable future, we plan to continue holding community meetings every three months, which are open to any interested members of the local community and usually attended by other stakeholders including the EPA and Hobsons Bay City Council.

We will also continue to deliver our community newsletters to neighbours every three months, which include details about the upcoming community meetings.

As always, we will endeavour to keep our neighbours informed of any major works or activities that they may notice through letters and text messages, in addition to the regular meetings and newsletters.

How is Mobil taking care of its workforce? 

A significant proportion of the current refinery workforce will continue to work on terminal conversion projects as well as decommissioning activities for a number of years.

Mobil is working to deploy some employees to other roles within ExxonMobil Australia. 

We are supporting employees who will leave the refinery in a number of ways including offering out-placement support and careers coaching along with a Careers Fair, providing employees with the opportunity to speak with prospective employers from similar industries.

Mobil’s history in Australia

Mobil has operated in Australia for more than 125 years.

Learn more about our history and contributions to Australia during that time.

Our history

Community enquiries

If you would like more information about the Altona refinery and for all general enquiries relating to the refinery, please email us at CommunityANZ@exxonmobil.com.

For urgent matters regarding the refinery's operations, Altona Refinery has a 24-hour community hotline for local residents and community members. The free-call number is 1800 659 527.

For other enquiries please refer to the Contact Us page of this website.

Mobil is in the early stages of assessing potential options for future land use as a submission to the Hobsons Bay Industrial Land Management Strategy Study. 

For commercial proposals or other ideas please submit an Expression of Interest using the form.

SMS notification for local residents

Mobil can send an SMS notification to registered local community members in the event of an issue at the Altona site which may cause concern. If you are a local resident and would like to register to receive messages from Mobil, you can download the form and return it to: Mobil Community Relations, Locked Bag 40, Altona North VIC 3015 or email it to CommunityANZ@exxonmobil.com.

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