Ampol refinery scrapes into profit

Ampol’s Lytton refinery in Brisbane edged up to a narrow profit in the June quarter thanks to higher refining margins, but the return from the business will be boosted by the taxpayer-funded subsidy provided by the federal government.

Earnings before interest and tax at Lytton for the second quarter are expected to be “modest”, an improvement on the breakeven result for the March quarter, the former Caltex Australia said on Tuesday.

But the first-half result for refining will be boosted by about $40 million from the federal government’s interim refining support package, the temporary subsidy that applied through the June half before the ongoing fuel security support measures kicked in on July 1.

Ampol had previously rejected the interim support subsidy as it examined whether to keep Lytton open but became eligible for it once it decided in May not to close the plant.

The fuel security package is intended to improve security of supply of petrol and diesel for Australia, providing a subsidy for fuels produced here, and putting in place minimum storage requirements for diesel.

Ampol was among several companies that were awarded government funds for diesel fuel storage projects last week.

Extracted from AFR

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