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Geelong Advertiser: Shell shows way on water

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IMPRESSED: Water Minister Tim Holding, front, tours the Shell Refinery yesterday with Shell general manager Huck Poh, left, MP Michael Crutchfield and Shell Australia chairman Russell Caplan.

Rainie Fraser
19 October 2007 

The State Government is urging industry to follow Shell Refinery’s lead and boost water saving efforts. RAINIE FRASER reports

THE Shell Refinery’s $55 million investment into environmental projects, including a water treatment plant, is saving more than 100 million litres of water each year.

Water Minister Tim Holding yesterday announced the refinery had successfully completed an extensive water management program, contributing to enormous water savings in the region and complementing significant commercial, industry and residential efforts.

Major projects included a $12 million water treatment facility, the re-use of steam in manufacturing from large boilers, the collection and treatment of stormwater before its release into Corio Bay and employee participation in conservation projects.

Mr Holding said the State Government expected industry to save billions of litres of water each year from next year after the introduction of mandatory water management action plans.

“The difficulty is using less water and identifying water strategies we can draw on and Barwon Water has played a leadership role in that,” he said.

“I want to congratulate the Shell Refinery for the specific things they do to help the region respond to that challenge. You are great corporate citizens in the region.”

While taking a tour of the refinery, Mr Holding asked several questions of operations manager Geoff Caddy and joked about what wearing a hard hat would do to his hair.

Mr Caddy said all but one of the refinery’s five main water-saving activities had been completed, with general manager Huck Poh adding that  much of the projects’ allocated funding had already been spent.

Mr Poh said the culmination of the water management program was exciting for workers, many of whom attended Mr Holding’s presentation.

“Improving the way we manage our resources and the environment is part of an ongoing commitment we have made that includes the spending of $130 million on environmental projects from 2003 to 2011,” Mr Poh said.

“It is also important to recognise that it is more than just financial investments that make a difference. Our employees are committed to improving our environmental performance and looking for innovative ways to reduce our water use.”

Mr Holding said all non-residential urban water customers using more than 10 million litres each year would have to submit a water management action plan to local water authorities by the end of the year. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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