Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Climate Change: The quicker the better

The Marsden Point oil refinery lost $200 million last year, and its owners are saying it will speed their decision to shut it down and move to being an import business:

The country's only fuel refinery at Marsden Point could exit the refinery business as early as next year.

Refining NZ has been reviewing its future options which include quitting the refinery operations and converting to becoming an import terminal only.

Speaking on Wednesday after booking an annual loss of $198.2 million, chief executive Naomi James said the Government’s move towards greener transport gave the refinery’s review impetus.

‘’I think at a point in time you would always be looking at this ... but it takes a number of years on the Government's forecasts, on the Climate Change Commission forecasts, for current fuel demand to shift significantly.'’

Good. Currently Marsden Point emits roughly 580,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year (and gets subsidised to do so), so the sooner it shuts down the better. Imported petrol still has those emissions embodied in it, but importing fuel attracts ETS obligations, and emissions factors can always be updated to include that (if they don't already). As for Refining NZ, its good for them: with the sudden push for transport electrification, they're looking at having a huge stranded asset, so the quicker they dump it, the better.