(EnergyAsia, December 18 2012, Tuesday) — Exxon Mobil expects to complete the demolition of its 63-year-old refinery at Port Stanvac in Australia’s Adelaide state by end-2013.

The company said contractor EDS Australasia Pty Ltd has started work to take down and remove the refinery’s units and facilities including pipes, storage tanks, chimney stack and office buildings

The company’s demolition project manager, Greg Wheeler, said:

We have consulted extensively with the State Government and the City of Onkaparinga to investigate if the wharf may be retained for alternative uses by the community. If this is not possible, we will make plans to demolish the wharf structure as well. Access to the wharf remains restricted throughout this time.”

“We have engaged an EPA-accredited Site Environmental Auditor to oversee regular environmental assessments of the refinery site. We have also entered into a Voluntary Site Contamination Assessment Proposal with the EPA under which we have committed to carry out certain environmental assessment and remediation works.

“Once demolition of all aboveground infrastructure is complete at the end of 2013 work will continue to remove underground piping and structures such as concrete footings and complete environmental remediation to make the site suitable for future industrial use.”

Australia’s small, ageing refineries are increasingly unable to compete against the new generation of giant export-oriented refineries in Asia and the Middle East. Over the past decade, Australia has shut down three of its eight refineries, most recently the Shell plant at Clyde and Caltex’s Kurnell unit.