Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd, Southern Oil Refining managing director Tim Rose and Riverina MP Michael McCormack.
Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd, Southern Oil Refining managing director Tim Rose and Riverina MP Michael McCormack. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Refinery for used oil to create 80 jobs at Yarwun

A $55 million re-refinery project is bringing at least 80 jobs to Gladstone along with a cleaner, greener attitude to oil.

Southern Oil Refining collects and re-refines used lube oils from engines, hydraulics and gear oils at its Wagga Wagga site.

Gladstone will house the second plant in the country, with a refinery three times the size that can process 100 million litres of oil a year - the same amount of waste oil that Queensland produces annually.

It will slash the need to dig for more oil while cutting carbon emissions by 300 million tonnes a year.

The Yarwun-based site plans to be operational by November, with construction jobs expected to peak at 50 in the coming months.

An operational crew of 28, most from Gladstone, has been flown to Wagga to learn the ropes.

Riverina MP Michael McCormack knows the positive impact SOR's first refinery had on jobs, investment and the environment in his electorate of Wagga Wagga.

He toured the site with Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd on Thursday.

"Gladstone is the heart of the resource, mining and manufacturing sector and this will be a huge boost to the economy," Mr McCormack said.

"The waste oil is turned into many tonnes of reconstituted oil. They tell me it's almost good enough to drink."

It was Mr O'Dowd who convinced SOR that Gladstone was the ideal location for a second refinery.

"We have so many mining activities out west and this will be the second place in Australia that does this refining of oil," he said.

"It will mean jobs for Gladstone instead of going offshore and it's environmentally friendly - it ticks all the boxes."

Managing director Tim Rose said it was criminal that waste oil was still being burned.

"We need to stop the bad practice of burning the stuff," he said.

"All these companies that say they're environmentally friendly and yet we have just 4% of the domestic market.



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