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Proposed bp renewable diesel refinery decision incoming

HVIA says the decision is imminent on bp’s proposed repurposed biofuel energy hub

The Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) says it won’t be long before a final investment decision is made this year on bp’s proposed Kwinana Energy Hub.

The proposed project will see the former oil refinery redeveloped into a green energy hub producing renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel and green hydrogen.

With environmental approval processes underway, bp says the final investment decision is anticipated to arrive later this year.

The project is designed to repurpose the majority of Kwinana’s existing infrastructure for the biofuel design, including two former oil refining units.

Hundreds of workers are currently dismantling the oil refinery, with the massive storage tanks that for decades stored oil and petrol being repurposed to carry biofuels.

A bp spokesperson says the planned biofuels refinery will be integrated with existing terminal operations and on-site utilities such as the wastewater treatment plant, flare system and utilities.

The company also plans to repurpose some of the existing on-site tankage for the storage of feedstocks and biofuel products and use existing jetties and supply pipelines for feedstock receival to site and product supply to market.

Kwinana, which was established in 1955 and operated as a fuel refinery until early 2021, is one of five biofuel projects that bp has planned globally.

It is expected these and other existing projects will produce around 100,000 barrels of SAF and HVO per day by 2030.

The WA renewable fuels refinery is planned to produce SAF and biodiesel from bio feedstocks by 2026. It will have a production capacity of 10,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel or SAF.

The bp spokesperson says the company is in ongoing discussions with local and international feedstock suppliers.

The proposed Kwinana Energy Hub will also include a green hydrogen production facility, H2Kwinana. A recently completed concept development phase study identified two potential base-case scenarios, with the hub producing either 44 tonnes per day of green hydrogen or 143 tonnes per day. The potential growth target of 429 tonnes per day was selected as the third and final case.

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston, who recently toured the Kwinana refinery, says that while the state government cannot compete with the deep pockets of the US and its Inflation Reduction Scheme, it is doing what it can to remove barriers for local investment.

“Kwinana has been a central hub of fuel operations for the past 65 years, the potential development of a green hydrogen hub would progress the decarbonisation of the Kwinana Industrial Area,” Johnston says.

“These kinds of projects are possible thanks to the WA government’s $180 million investment into renewable hydrogen.”

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