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Viva Energy refinery could return to full production in November

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Viva Energy Group has said that key processing units are currently under maintenance and its Geelong refinery is operating at reduced production levels due to the impacts on fuel demand as a result of the Victorian Government restrictions on mobility and workplaces.

If these restrictions are relaxed as foreshadowed and fuel demand sufficiently recovers, then it is possible that the refinery could return to full production in November 2020 as currently planned. The situation, however, is very uncertain and will be monitored closely over the coming weeks to determine whether these extended restrictions will impact these plans.

The longer term outlook for the refining business remains very challenging given the considerable fall in global demand for oil products, which will likely take some time to recover and continues to weigh on regional refining margins. The company is working closely with the Commonwealth Government on the viability of the sector and is encouraged by the review that is currently underway. Given the materiality of these issues, the company is assessing other options to address operating losses, including the possibility of moving to a full shutdown of the facility. The company expects to have an update on this in its 3Q20 trading update in October.

Viva Energy CEO, Scott Wyatt said: “At the conclusion of this year’s major maintenance event, we will have invested more than AUS$600 million at the Geelong Refinery since we acquired the business in late 2014. We have shown strong commitment to manufacturing in Victoria and have extended this by continuing to operate our Refinery throughout these challenging times while undertaking the major maintenance of our key processing units.

Unfortunately, the impacts of COVID-19 and the restrictions on mobility and the economy are putting extreme pressures on the refining business that we have not experienced before and are not sustainable over the longer term. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation and will continue to keep our employees, investors and stakeholders updated.”

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Downstream news Oil refinery news