Unrealistic Victorian road map could force closure of Geelong refinery: Viva

The head of major fuel refiner Viva Energy has criticised the Victorian government’s COVID-19 road map as unrealistic, warning the company may be forced to close its Geelong oil refinery for good if restrictions are not eased by November.

Viva has been mulling its options for the Geelong site since the virus and its related restrictions on both international and local travel wiped out demand for fuel. However, the recent stage three and four lockdown in Victoria has exacerbated the issue, prompting the company to consider a full shutdown of the plant.

Chief executive Scott Wyatt said the state government’s current road map out of stage three and four restrictions, revealed on Sunday, would mean the plant may be able to return to full production by late November.

However, Mr Wyatt said the hurdles for hitting that easing of restrictions did not seem “realistic or achievable”.

“They’ve provided a road map, but it’s a long road map, and there are some high hurdles that we have to clear to get there,” he said.

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