Gore Cove Oil Facilities

The oil bunkering and loading facilities on the western shores of Gore Cove on Sydney's Lower North Shore, were built in conjunction with the Clyde Oil Refinery by Shell Refining. The refinery was in operation since the early 1920s - longer than any other oil refinery in Australia. It has been owned by Shell since 1928 and is located in Clyde where the Parramatta River and the Duck River. The refinery is also the site of the first polypropylene (PP) plant in Australia, that was commissioned by Shell in 1970 - 1971 and that has a capacity of 25,000 tonnes per year. There is also another PP plant on site that is owned by LyondellBasell and has an annual production capacity of 170,000 tonnes. The refinery was shut down in November 2008 for maintenance works and restarted in July 2009 after nine months of repairs. Shell permenantly shut down its refining operations at Clyde in 2012 and has converted the Clyde Refinery and Gore Bay Terminal into a fuel import facility.

The refinery, which had around 330 workers, had a capacity of 85 thousand barrels per day and iwas supplied with oil from the nearby Gore Bay Terminal, also operated by Shell since its opening, located on 10 hectares (25 acres) of land in Greenwich and opened in 1901. The oil transfer is made via an 19 kilometres underground pipeline that has a 300 millimetres (12 in) diameter. The refinery processed around 4 million tonnes of crude oil annually, and supplied 40% of the fuel consumed in Sydney and around 50% of the fuel consumed in New South Wales, Australia's most populous state.

During operation of Clyde as a refinery, the ship sizes were not directly correlated to shipping movements for various reasons. Although the majority of the ships that sailed into Gore Bay while Clyde was operating as a refinery were 80,000 tonne Long Range (LR) ships, product ships of various sizes also berthed at the facility to unload finished product. In addition, some ships only unloaded part of their cargo and then sailed on to Shell's Geelong Refinery and others were used to export products such as long residue (a heavy crude oil type intermediate product) and diesel. The ships are now more uniform in size - 45,000 tonne Medium Range (MR) ships and the shipping pattern has become more regular.

Seven of the 20 tanks at Gore Bay have been demolished. The tanks in the northern end of the site (the tanks near Greenwich Road) and the tanks in the southern end of the site (the tanks near Manns Point) have remained. Marine fuel oil and jet fuel are stored at Gore Bay, etrol is pumped directly to Clyde. This mode of operation takes into account community concerns around fuel storage at Gore Bay.

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