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Case Study

Adelaide refinery closure and demolition for ExxonMobil

Old refinery

Advisan delivered the safe closure and demolition of the Port Stanvac Oil Refinery from planning to handover.

The situation

Mobil’s Port Stanvac Refinery was located south of Adelaide and consisted of fuels and lubricants processing streams. The site area comprised 260 hectares with built infrastructure covering 85 hectares. The site was bounded by industrial neighbors to the north and east, residential neighbors to the south and coastline to the west.

Refining infrastructure included:

  • 620 rotating machine sets
  • 330 vessels (towers, drums etc)
  • 20 fired heaters and boilers
  • 370 heat exchanges
  • Two flares
  • 80 separate buildings and sheds (administration offices, warehouses, maintenance facilities, substations)
  • 210 above-ground storage tanks
  • 10 below-ground tanks and pits
  • One-off 98m reinforced concrete flue stack

The facility was mothballed in 2003 with site vessels, refining equipment, tanks, and associated infrastructure drained or purged. The site also had known soil and groundwater contamination which was being managed by ExxonMobil.

Advisian was engaged by ExxonMobil Environmental Services (EMES) to undertake engineering services to define the scope for the closure and demolition of the oil refinery.

Our approach

Our services included:

  • Engineering
  • Regulatory and government liaison
  • Technical specification for demolition
  • Site validation
  • Contracts and procurement of a demolition contractor
  • Project management of the site demolition, including:
    • Site health and safety management
    • Environmental management
    • Detailed survey and GPS mapping of all underground services and monitoring wells prior to the commencement of demolition activities
    • Waste management
    • Scrap metal management
    • Work method statements and permitting
    • Explosive felling
    • Industrial relations
    • Financial management
    • Sub-contractor management
    • Site handover


The complete project ran over four years and total 645,000 man hours. Safety performance improved from the initial validation phase through to demolition completion which achieved zero recordable injuries in the last 12 months of the project. 

Overall, the project was completed within schedule and project budget.