(QldGovSpin) Caltex upgrade approved

Submitted by Editor on Thu, 29/07/2004 - 00:46

Minister for State Development and Innovation Tony McGrady and Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman today announced approval for a major upgrade of the Caltex oil refinery at Lytton.

State Development & Innovation, Tony McGrady


The development approval by Brisbane City Council, supported by an exhaustive environmental assessment process facilitated by the Department of State Development and Innovation, means that construction on the $145 million project can commence.

The Lytton Clean Fuels Project will greatly improve air quality in South East Queensland by slashing the content of benzene in petrol and sulfur in diesel. The new fuels, which are required under national fuel quality regulation, must be on the market by the beginning of 2006.

"Caltex's investment in cleaner fuels is a strong demonstration of its confidence in Queensland as a desirable place to invest. Without the investment, the refinery could not have continued operation and Queensland would have become highly dependent on imported fuel," said Minister McGrady.

"The investment secures the Lytton refinery's future and helps underpin industrial development and employment in the Australia Trade Coast. Lytton refinery has about 500 Caltex employees and contractors and up to 250 additional workers will be required for the construction project."

Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said the approval showed the Brisbane City Council (BCC) was keen to work co-operatively with the State Government and business to ensure Brisbane development progressed in a way that complemented environmental principles.

"The development approval has a number of tough environmental conditions that Caltex must comply with. In addition to established environmental conditions, their Clean Fuels Project will help to greatly reduce air contaminants, smog and fine particulate pollution in South East Queensland through the supply of cleaner petrol and diesel," Cr Newman said.

"An exhaustive environmental assessment process conducted by the State Government and BCC indicates the Caltex project will not result in environmental and/or health risks."

Cr Newman said as an additional safety check for Brisbane residents, Caltex would undertake contingency planning which will cost up to $3 million.

"This will ensure Brisbane residents have a fail-safe emission mitigation strategy, in the unlikely case the project results in unacceptable refinery emissions, that can be put in place very quickly," Cr Newman said.

"This will be reinforced by changes to Caltex's EPA licence, including a 25 percent cut in allowable sulfur dioxide emissions, and a two-year, $0.5 million air quality monitoring and modelling program."

"Caltex welcomes the development approval, which is required to allow construction to commence," said Caltex Managing Director Dave Reeves.

"The approval process has been tough and very thorough but I have been greatly impressed by the commitment of both the State Government, including the EPA, and Brisbane City Council to progress approval as quickly as possible. The dedication of the individuals involved in the process has been commendable.

"The Clean Fuels Project is about improving the Queensland environment through cleaner fuels. The project will produce fuels that not only comply with standards mandated for 2006 but has also been designed to produce fuels that comply with the even tougher standards for 2008 and 2009 that have just been announced by the Australian Government.

"Caltex aims to be ahead of its competitors with cleaner petrol and diesel that meet the 2008/9 standards. We will have 50 ppm sulfur premium unleaded petrol on the market as the standard quality for this product from 2006 and 10 ppm sulfur diesel on the market as the standard quality for diesel from 2007, provided the already-announced Australian Government production incentives make this economic."

Media contact: 3224 4600



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