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Shell pledges to support affected refinery workers

Shell to support affected workers at Geelong refinery, which will be sold to allow company to focus on large-scale sites

April 5, 2013

Shell says it will support affected workers at its Geelong refinery, which will be sold to allow the energy giant to focus on large-scale sites.

The company announced yesterday the refinery would be put up for sale because it did not fit in with its global strategy of concentrating investment on large projects, such as the Pulau Bukom refinery in Singapore.

Shell Australia downstream Vice-President Andrew Smith says the business is committed to a timely sale process and providing support to employees. The refinery employs 470 people and 150 contractors.

“I understand this announcement will be difficult for refinery employees, but Shell will support them through this period of uncertainty,” he says.

“Refinery employees in Geelong have made a significant contribution to both Shell and the local community over many years, supporting the economy in south east Australia.”

Shell supplies fuel to around 900 Shell branded service stations across Australia, along with aviation fuel, marine fuel, chemicals, bitumen and lubricants to a wide range of customers.

Although it hopes to find a buyer for the terminal, Shell says it could convert it to an import terminal if a deal cannot be reached.

Shell contractor Jason Van der Meer told ABC Radio’s PM program Geelong is reliant on the refinery to keep operating.

“Geelong’s built on three major industries and Shell is one of them and yeah we just hope that the plant keeps chugging away because Geelong needs it,” he says.

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