| 15.12,11. 11:05 PM |
Fuel-shortage fears unfounded, Shell says
Oil refining giant Shell has denied that motorists will face supply shortages over the busy Christmas period following processing problems at its Geelong plant.
Paul Zennaro, a spokesman for Shell Australia, confirmed that the company "has experienced some problems with a processing unit at the Geelong Refinery".
However, he said "most processing units at the refinery are unaffected by this situation".
Advertisement: Story continues below "This is not going to impact on the supply of fuel," he said.
Insiders said the refinery was experiencing problems with its processing equipment after a massive overhaul of equipment at Geelong.
The refinery supplies about 50 per cent of Victoria's fuel and about 30 per cent of South Australia's fuel.
Mr Zennaro said refineries were complicated.
"From time to time they experience problems. Shell appreciates the efforts employees are putting in to fix these problems in the lead up to Christmas," he said.
"The company is pleased that retail sales at Shell branded service stations have been strong in recent weeks, and is not expecting the situation at the refinery to have any impact on the supply of fuel."
Mr Zennaro would not comment on losses associated with the "problems with the processing unit".
In November, Shell called for applications for voluntary redundancies in Geelong with 22 positions to be axed.
General Manager, Mark Schubert, said at the time: “This is a difficult, but necessary, decision aimed at improving the refinery's sustainability.”
“For several years, we've improved our reliability and become smarter in our approach to maintenance. This has resulted in a reduction in breakdown work, meaning we do not require the same number of trade positions,” he said.