Caltex's Clean Fuels project currently under construction at the Lytton refinery reached a major milestone overnight following the installation and lockdown of a 63 metre high, 300 tonne combined reactor and distillation column using one of the biggest cranes in Australia.
The $395 million project to upgrade both the Lytton refinery in Brisbane and the Kurnell refinery in Sydney's south-east will ensure that Caltex has the infrastructure to meet the Federal Government's standards for clean fuels that come into effect in January 2006.
"The installation of the column at the refinery marks a major milestone of the Clean Fuels Project," said Lytton Refinery manager Andrew Brewer.
"Both the column and the crane used to install it are very impressive. With the crane standing around 70 to 80 metres high it is one of the biggest in Australia. The column will be one of the taller structures at the refinery and is the centrepiece of the plant that will reduce the amount of benzene in petrol.”
Construction of the project at Lytton commenced in October 2004 and will be finished in the fourth quarter 2005.
Brisbane and Sydney will have some of the cleanest fuel in the world and cleaner air as a result of this major investment in the refineries. Caltex-refined fuel will also benefit communities outside Brisbane and Sydney wherever the fuel is sold.
"Air pollution from motor vehicles is a problem in Australia's urban areas and fuel refiners and marketers have a responsibility to help provide a solution,” Mr Brewer said.
"A better environment is not just good for the community, it is good business. The investment will help maintain Caltex's position as Australia's leading fuels refiner and marketer and provide us with a strategically sound and competitive position within the Australian
Fuel standards have been tightening since January 2002 and will require a maximum 50 parts per million of sulfur in diesel and a maximum 1 per cent benzene in petrol from January 2006.
The tighter standards will reduce emissions from existing diesel vehicles, allow the import of latest technology diesel vehicles and substantially reduce benzene emissions from petrol vehicles.