(EnergyAsia, January 22 2013, Tuesday) — Caltex Australia said it has begun supplying bitumen from a new purpose-built import terminal at Port Botany in Sydney following the closure of operations at the nearby Kurnell refinery.

The new terminal, designed, constructed and commissioned in less than 14 months by Terminals Australia Pty Ltd, provides 24,000 tonnes of storage capacity, giving Caltex the ability to import and efficiently distribute hot bitumen to a range of government and commercial customers throughout New South Wales state.

Australia’s largest downstream company also announced a partnership with SAMI Bitumen Technologies Pty Ltd, which will construct a bitumen oxidation plant at the terminal. Due to be commissioned by March, the plant will improve the terminal’s capability to supply new base grade and specialty bitumen products to meet the future needs of road authorities and users.

Caltex Australia’s manager for lubricants and direct sales, Phil Amos, said the addition of the oxidation plant would benefit the state’s road services industry by ensuring the reliable supply of all

Roads and Maritime Services base grades, in the event that specific bitumen grades were not available from the international market.

Caltex ceased manufacturing bitumen at the Kurnell refinery in late 2012 following the closure of a number of process units associated with manufacturing this product. The company has already announced that it will close down the refinery by late 2014.

Gary Smith, its general manager for refining and supply, said:

“As the foundation customer of this terminal, Caltex is providing its NSW bitumen customers with long-term supply continuity. This demonstrates Caltex’s continued commitment to providing a flexible and reliable supply chain for customers. Caltex is delivering the diverse range of fuel and non-fuel products that Australia needs.”