Queensland’s first oil refinery will start production after the $55 million plant opened in Gladstone yesterday.
The Northern Oil Refinery (NOR) is a joint venture between Southern Oil and J.J. Richards, and will create 40 full time positions.
Southern Oil managing director Tim Rose said the plant had the potential to process 100 per cent of Queensland’s annual production of waste and used lube oil.
Rose said NOR will source and re-refine up to 100 million litres of waste lube oil a year for re-use as l lube oil in the automotive, transport, mining and agricultural sectors.
“NOR presents a fantastic environmental opportunity for the state and for industry,” Rose said.
“We need strong support from waste oil producers like mines and local governments to direct their waste lube oil to be re-refined, rather than burned and wasted which is what mainly happens now.”
Southern Oil has been turning waste lube oils from Hunter Valley mines, vehicle service centres and other commercial generators into international standard re-refined lube oil at its plant in Wagga Wagga, NSW, since 2001.
And similar to their NSW operations the Queensland joint venture will produce no waste.
Rose said every component is reused and 99 per cent of the lube oil component in the waste oil is recovered as high quality lube oil for re-use.
He said the plant would also pose an environmental benefit for the state, using 60 per cent less energy compared to the production of crude lube oil, all of which is imported into Australia.
“Refining sits at the top of the waste management hierarchy and secures and environmental and economic value for used oil,” Rose said.