Manufacturing News

Vic government, Shell defend water treatment facility investment at Geelong refinery


The Victorian government and Shell have defended public investment in a new water treatment site at Shell’s refinery, which is currently up for sale.

The ABC reports that the government contributed $9 million to the project, which cost $94 million overall.

"This project has been more than ten years in the making," Peter Walsh, the state’s water minister, told the ABC.

"Shell has put the plant on the market but this water treatment plant will be here for the long term. It treats domestic waste water as well as industrial waste water.

"It is a project that's here no matter what happens with Shell."

As reported in Manufacturers’ Monthly and elsewhere, Shell announced last month that the Geelong refinery is for sale. It has been operating since 1954, employs 450 people, and there is the possibility that it could be converted to an import terminal if a buyer is not found.

Its general manager Mark Schubert said the water treatment facility would be useful regardless of the facility’s future.

"It provides all our potable water on a recycled basis and that's great for Shell, it's great for a new buyer of the site and it's great for the community," he said.

"It frees up water for 10,000 homes, it unlocks critical infrastructure for the sewer and does that regardless of whether the Shell refinery continues to operate or not."

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