Shareholders have given a tick of approval for Refining NZ's transition to become an import-only fuel terminal at a meeting this morning.
The approval means the Marsden Pt-based oil refinery in Northland, run by Refning NZ, will proceed to a final investment decision by its board towards the end of September, with a target for transition by mid next year.
The new entity will be called Channel Infrastructure which will be New Zealand's leading independent fuel infrastructure company.
Fuel would be stored at the Marsden Pt site in existing tanks at what would be the largest fuel terminal in New Zealand, with 180 million litres of shared capacity, as well as the ability to provide additional storage if required.
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Fuel from Marsden Pt would then be distributed on behalf of Channel Infrastructure's customers primarily to the Auckland and Northland markets, which make up about 40 percent of New Zealand's fuel demand, through the 170km refinery to Auckland pipeline and the truck loading facility adjacent to the refinery.
Refining NZ conducted a strategic review of its business early last year when border closures as a result of Covid resulted in a glut in fuel supplies globally, and a reduction in pipeline fees and demand for fuel.
The conversion to fuel terminal will require an initial capital investment of between $200m and $220m over five to six years following the final investment decision and between $50m and $60m for the demolition of decommissioned refinery assets.
Refining NZ chief executive Naomi James said the company was identifying potential opportunities for the Marsden Pt site which has huge potential being a large industrial consented site, with deep water port access, large electricity and gas connections, a very capable workforce and close proximity to the largest population in New Zealand.