Ampol eyes shutting Brisbane refinery

Ampol is considering closing its refinery in Lytton, Brisbane, as fuel demand remains low amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The petroleum company on Thursday said it would review Lytton’s operations and consider options including a closure, a move to importing or other operating models.

The refinery made a cumulative loss of $141 million in the three quarters to the end of September, although this included a lengthy maintenance period.

Ampol said the loss reflected the impact of the pandemic on fuel demand and refiner margins, as well as maintenance costs

Ampol chief executive Matt Halliday said the review would also consider the federal government’s recent measures to improve the nation’s fuel security.

Tuesday’s budget included a $211 million plan to build domestic storage facilities while keeping refineries open.

Mr Halliday said the review was an important step to ensuring the competitive cost of fuel supply.

The review is expected to be finished in the second quarter of 2021.

Shares in Ampol, previously known as Caltex Australia, were higher by 0.58 per cent at $24.45 at 1113 AEDT.

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