BP intends to halt refining operations at its 102,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane, Queensland by mid-2015.
Andy Holmes, President of BP Australasia, said that the growth of very large refineries in the Asia-Pacific region was driving structural change within the fuels supply chain in Australia and putting huge commercial pressure on smaller scale plants.
“It’s against this background that we have concluded that the best option for strengthening BP’s long-term supply position in the east coast retail and commercial fuels markets is to purchase product from other refineries.
“And while more of our transport fuel demand will be met by imports in future, ample supplies are available to maintain Australia’s energy security.”
Holmes continued: “While this decision will significantly improve our competitive position, it will result in job losses and I would like to acknowledge the enormous commitment and contribution made over many years by our staff at Bulwer Island. We will be doing everything we can to support them through this transition.”
To ensure no disruption to customers, alternate supply arrangements have been made and this includes imports of Jet fuel and a long-term agreement with Caltex for the provision of motor spirit and diesel from the nearby Lytton refinery.
It is expected that it will take some twelve months to implement the changes required to maintain supply and safely shutdown the process units.