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Australia’s largest fuel terminal

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Operations have commenced at the Caltex Australia Kurnell Terminal in Sydney. The terminal is a US$ 270 million investment which saw the Kurnell refinery converted in to Australia’s largest fuel import terminal. The terminal provides 750 million ltrs of storage capacity and will supply fuel to retail sites and commercial customers across New South Wales and the ACT.


Andrew Brewer, General Manager for Supply Chain Operations, Caltex Australia, said, ‘this week Caltex marks two important events in its history: the safe, on time and on budget completion of Australia’s newest and largest fuel import terminal, and the final shutdown of a great Australian refinery after many decades of service.

‘The market has changed over the refinery’s lifetime but for some time now, despite all our best efforts to make it as competitive as possible, it has been at a clear disadvantage compared with more modern, larger scale and more efficient refineries in the Asia region. Caltex’s priority is the safe and reliable supply of fuel to customers across Australia. After many decades of faithful service to New South Wales and the ACT, the Kurnell refinery’s substantial contribution is coming to an end. We are pleased to have now transitioned to a modern import facility well equipped to handle this important role for many decades to come.’

Brewer continued, ‘we are immensely proud of the contribution made by all our employees, past and present, in refining the fuel that has kept Australia moving for almost 59 years. This professionalism was again evidenced as we carried out the project to safely transition to a new terminal. Some of our people have now transitioned elsewhere in the Caltex business as part of our commitment to find redeployment opportunities where possible.

‘Our Kurnell people have also responded positively to an extensive program of ongoing employee support we launched in 2012 to help them make a successful transition to a new career opportunity, or, for many, into a well deserved retirement. About 75 Caltex employees are involved in work to decommission the refinery, which will take until the third quarter of 2015.’

Refinery history

Of the refinery’s history, Brewer said, ‘we have consulted with the New South Wales Heritage Council and the Australian Museum to ensure that this history is preserved for future generations. Caltex has been collecting memorabilia from the site and has commissioned a short film. This month we are releasing a 400 page colour commemorative book and will be providing this to our workforce as well as to the State Library of New South Wales and libraries in the local community. As we look back and celebrate the refinery’s immense contribution over more than half a century we also look forward and know that the economic prosperity of New South Wales will continue to be underpinned by Caltex’s safe and reliable fuel supply for many decades to come.’

Terminal construction

The project started in July 2012 and was completed at a cost of US$ 270 million. At the peak of the conversion project, the workforce reached over 1000 employees and contractors.

With a storage capacity of 750 million ltrs, the facility will be able to import, store and distribute fuel products including petrol, diesel and jet fuel. Fuels are delivered to the site by ship, pumped into tanks, then distributed to other terminals and Sydney Airport using the same pipelines as the original refinery. More than 45 tanks are on site to hold three major transport fuels. 21 km of new pipes have been laid despite the original network still being in place.

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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