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Adelaide wharf

Adelaide Refinery

The former Adelaide Refinery at Port Stanvac, located south of Adelaide near Lonsdale, was demolished in early 2014 and a project is underway to remediate the site to a standard suitable for future industrial use.

Mobil is working closely with the South Australian Government, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), other government departments and agencies as well as the Onkaparinga City Council, to ensure we take every care to minimise the impact of the project on our neighbours and avoid any risk to the surrounding community and the environment.

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Video — Adelaide Refinery final chapter

Regular updates on activity are provided to the adjacent O’Sullivans Beach community, both at community meetings and directly via the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter.

If you have any queries about the Adelaide Refinery or would like more information, please contact us.


Mobil is responsible for assessing the environmental condition of the former Adelaide Refinery site and subsequently remediating it to a standard that is suitable for future use. We 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, primarily focused on the boundaries of the refinery site.

After operations ceased in 2003, Mobil engaged an SA EPA-accredited Site Environmental Auditor to oversee regular environmental assessments of the refinery site and ensure there were no impacts offsite, such as into Gulf St Vincent. We continue to work cooperatively with the Auditor and the EPA on all aspects related to the environmental condition and assessment of the site. Mobil’s environmental consultants conduct six-monthly sampling and analysis of some 150 groundwater wells around the site. They also conduct regular monitoring of the health of the marine environment offshore from the refinery site.

The works currently underway include investigating soil and groundwater conditions to guide the plan to rectify any environmental impacts. This process is regulated by the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (SA EPA).

Environmental consultants are currently preparing a detailed remediation plan with active remediation works expected to commence onsite in 2017. Sufficiently remediating the site to a standard suitable for future industrial use is likely to take up to ten years.

Port Stanvac wharf

Located on Gulf St Vincent, south of Adelaide, the Port Stanvac wharf was built by Mobil in the 1960’s to receive imported crude oil for refining into fuel products at the former Adelaide Refinery which commenced operations in 1963.

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Video — Adelaide Refinery Port Stanvac wharf

In 2003, amid challenging times for the Australian refining industry, the decision was made to cease the refinery’s operations. Since that time, the Port Stanvac wharf has been closed, with an exclusion zone remaining in place.

Over the years, Mobil has worked closely with the State Government and the City of Onkaparinga to establish whether there was interest in preserving the wharf for future use. During this time, the State Government assessed several options to determine the most feasible future prospects for the site including accessibility for the community.

In October 2015, the State Government announced that it was committed to retaining the 215-metre rock groyne which forms part of the Port Stanvac wharf but had not identified a viable alternate use for the defunct structure which extends 670m into the deep waters of Gulf of St. Vincent.

Mobil have agreed to fund upgrade works estimated at $5.7 million to make the groyne safe for public access and will proceed with plans to remove the remaining 50-year old industrial facility in line with the lease terms for the wharf and foreshore area.

While the site remediation at the Adelaide Refinery is expected to take up to ten years, as part of the wharf removal, Mobil will work with the South Australian Government to prioritise remediation works along the foreshore areas so it can be safely opened to the public for recreational purposes such as fishing and diving within seven years.

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Video — Adelaide Refinery stack demolition

The refinery site and area surrounding the wharf is still an industrial work zone, and to ensure public safety, access is necessarily restricted.

These restrictions will remain in place until the remediation works have been completed in several years.

Downloadable community announcements, fact sheets and images: