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Viva Energy announces Geelong Refinery plans to turn waste into fuels and recycled plastics

The Viva Energy announcement builds on trials to make sustainable fuel out of waste and recycled plastics in Geelong

Viva Energy has this week announced plans to build infrastructure which will enable its refinery at Geelong to receive and process feedstocks such as used cooking oil, animal fats and synthetic crude made from waste plastics which would otherwise find their way into landfill.

These feedstocks will be blended with crude oil to reduce the energy intensity of fuels that are produced at Geelong Refinery and recycle waste plastics through the polypropylene plant which was acquired by the company last year.

This will lead to the first commercial production in Australia of recycled plastic from waste soft plastics, which will be a key step towards solving one of the most difficult recycling challenges. It is estimated that in Australia, more than two million tonnes of plastic go into landfill every year.

 

It will also be the first time that Geelong Refinery processes bio-feedstocks, which will reduce the carbon intensity of the fuels and refined products that are produced right here in Australia.

The announcement builds on a pilot program in 2021 which processed synthetic crude oil made from waste soft plastics to produce recycled plastic which was subsequently used for the production of food-grade plastic wrappers.


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This initial project will involve the construction of a receiving gantry together with tank and injection infrastructure to allow biogenic and waste feedstocks to be received and stored at Geelong Refinery prior to being fed into existing processing units.

It is expected that these feedstocks will be sourced from local manufacturers and suppliers, with capability to process up to 50,000 tonnes per year as production of these feedstocks increase. Processing is expected to commence in the second half of 2024.

This project aims to demonstrate the capability of Geelong Refinery to meet growing demand from customers seeking ways to lower their carbon footprint and increase recycled content in their packaging.

Viva Energy intends to participate in the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC+) scheme, which will give customers transparency on the renewable feedstock content of their fuels and resins and the flexibility to choose how much renewable content they want.

Viva Energy CEO and managing director Scott Wyatt says the Geelong Refinery is in a unique position to develop biogenic, circular and lower carbon solutions.

“This project is part of the company’s broader vision to transform the refinery into a modern Energy Hub which supports both energy security and the energy transition,” he says.

“We are excited about the opportunity to turn waste into fuels and to help deal with the growing problem of recycling waste plastics.”

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