Viva Energy is pushing ahead with plans to build an LNG regasification terminal at its Geelong refinery.

It has now signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with three major energy companies — ENGIE Australia and New Zealand, Vitol and VTTI — as well as global trading and investment company Mitsui.

If the project goes ahead it could help underpin the future of the refinery, which employs about 700 people but has faced significant financial difficulties.

Viva Energy, which operates the site, is reviewing the viability of its refining business after revealing it recorded “unsustainable” losses of almost $50 million in the first half of 2020.

The agreement will see the consortiums work together on plans to develop an LNG gas terminal at the site, as well as look at long-term plans to create an energy hub, which could include solar, gas, hydrogen manufacturing and other renewable and lower carbon energy sources.

While the agreement includes no binding commitments regarding capacity or ownership, Viva Energy chief executive Scott Wyatt said he hoped a final investment decision could be made by mid-2022, with the facility operational by 2024.

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8th December 2020