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Geelong oil refinery could shut for good as Viva weathers COVID pain

Major fuel refiner and service station operator Viva Energy has said it may have to close its Geelong oil refinery for good as significantly reduced demand for fuel continues to weigh on the business.

In a market update on Monday morning Viva, which operates a national network of Shell-branded petrol stations, said it was assessing the possibility of moving to a “full shutdown” of the facility. The plant employs approximately 700 workers.

Viva has said it is considering permanently closing its Geelong refinery.

Viva has said it is considering permanently closing its Geelong refinery.Credit:Nic Walker

Viva has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and its related restrictions on both international and local travel, which has wiped out demand for fuel. As a result, the plant sunk to a $50 million loss last month and is currently operating at reduced capacity whilst undergoing maintenance works.

Full production could resume at the plant by mid-November if the Victorian government’s roadmap out of stage four restrictions is followed, the company said, however chief executive Scott Wyatt said the extended restrictions could still affect the company’s plans.

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