Viva Energy’s been given the nod by the environmental watchdog to produce ultra-low sulphur petrol at its Corio refinery.
The EPA says the development licence was granted after it considered noise emissions, impacts to human and environmental health and management of waste by products.
“EPA Victoria is satisfied the upgrade can be achieved while protecting human and environmental health,” the watchdog stated.
The licence is a crucial step for Viva, which is has already acknowledged it will not meet new fuel quality standards due in the new year.
In May 2021 then Energy Minister Angus Taylor announced up to $302 million in support for Australia’s two remaining refiners, Ampol and Viva, to produce better quality fuels.
The funds are being split between the two refiners.
Mr Taylor said at the time it would bring forward the production of better-quality fuels from 2027 to 2024, but for Viva that timeline was always ambitious.
Earlier this year the refinery’s CEO Scott Wyatt said the $350 million project won’t be finished until mid-2025, and the company would seek a waiver from the federal government on its new emission standards.
“I’m fairly confident that we’ll receive the waiver, there’s really no choice in respect to our capability in any case,” he said in August.
The reasoning then for the delays was “ongoing component shortages” required to build the gasoline treatment unit.