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Shell to close Sydney refinery

Oil company Shell will close a Sydney refinery in September, creating uncertainty for up to 275 employees and at least 100 contractors.

Thursday June 7, 2012

Oil company Shell will close a Sydney refinery in September, creating uncertainty for up to 275 employees and at least 100 contractors.

The company on Thursday informed staff at the Clyde refinery, in Sydney’s west, that operations will stop from September 30.

Staff will be supported in finding other employment, either within the terminal operations at the site, or elsewhere within Shell, the company said.

Up to 30 employees had already found other jobs, Shell said.

The decision to close down comes almost one year after Shell decided to convert the Clyde refinery into a dedicated fuel import terminal.

‘The initial decision to close and convert Clyde, taken in July last year, was consistent with Shell’s strategy to focus its refining portfolio on larger assets and to build a profitable downstream business here in Australia,’ Shell Australia downstream president Andrew Smith said in a statement.

‘Since the decision was taken, the refinery has continued to struggle against sustained poor industry margins and intense competition from mega-refineries in Asia.’

Downstream refers to distribution and retail operations in the petroleum industry.

Shell customers will not be impacted by the closure, Mr Smith said.

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