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Viva says COVID-19 threatening refinery

Viva Energy said the impact of COVID-19 and mobility restrictions in Victoria could force it into a full shutdown of its Geelong refinery.

The company said key processing units are currently under maintenance and the refinery is operating at reduced production levels as lockdowns in Victoria continue to heavily reduce fuel demands.

Viva Energy CEO Scott Wyatt said there was the possibility of a full shutdown of the facility in the future as operating losses continued.

“At the conclusion of this year’s major maintenance event, we will have invested more than $600 million at the Geelong refinery since we acquired the business in late 2014,” he said.

“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.”

Viva said it was working closely with the government on the viability of the sector, but the conditions remained challenging.

The company expects to further update its position in October.

For more information visit the Viva website.

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