security of fuel supply for Western Australia. The refinery, near Fremantle, has provided fuels for Western Australia for 65 years. However, the continued growth of large-scale, export-oriented refineries throughout Asia and the Middle East has structurally changed the Australian market.
Regional oversupply and sustained low refining margins mean the Kwinana Refinery is no longer economically viable. Having explored multiple possibilities for the refinery’s future, bp has concluded that conversion to an import terminal is the best option.
The refinery currently employs around 650 people – 400 permanent staff and 250 contractors. Refining activities will wind down over the next six months, with a conversion workforce supporting site works. The new terminal will support construction work out to 2022. Once complete, the import terminal is expected to support around 60 jobs.
This includes building on its position in the North West Shelf joint venture through gas exploration at Ironbark and investing in retail growth, as well as progressing low carbon projects with Lightsource bp. It is also assessing the feasibility of a large-scale hydrogen export plant in Geraldton in partnership with the Federal Government.