Viva Energy Australia open gates to Corio refinery, giving Geelong residents a rare look inside.

THOUSANDS of curious community members have turned out for the Geelong Refinery’s first Open Day in more than a decade.

Viva Energy Australia opened the gates to the refinery yesterday, giving about 2000 Geelong residents an up close and personal chance to check out one of the region’s most fascinating landmarks.

The Open Day included guided tours of the facilities, taking a 3km bus ride through the site itself, along with dozens of stalls giving the public a detailed explanation of exactly what happens at the Corio refinery, which supplies more than half of Victoria’s fuel and employs more than 700 people.

media_cameraJason Tilley from Geelong with a signed framed print of and standing in front of a replica Dick Johnson Racing XE falcon. Picture: Mark Wilson
media_cameraTouring car drivers Fabian Coulthard and Scott McGlaughlin from Dick Johnson Racing with Abigail Williams, 6. Picture: Mark Wilson

Refinery general manager Thys Heyns was thrilled with the turnout.

“It was a delight to see so many families enjoying the entertainment as well as gaining an appreciation for what a large and important contribution we make to the Geelong, Victorian and Australian economies,” Mr Heyns said.

“We are proud to be a part of the Geelong community and we want to continue to increase awareness of what the refinery does, so we do hope to open the refinery gates again in the future.”

media_cameraOscar Branch, 4, from Geelong in some fire safety gear. Picture: Mark Wilson
media_cameraTouring car driver Fabian Coulthard from Dick Johnson Racing signing Caroline Bateman’s shirt. Picture: Mark Wilson

The event included live music from The Kite Machine, the Mik Maks and Northern Bay College bands, along with Shell V-Power Supercars drivers and Cats player Andrew Mackie.

Viva’s primary partner Headspace, Geelong partner Northern Futures and community partners were also in attendance.

The Geelong Refinery produces about 17.5 million litres of fuel every day.

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