If you have a long-term stake in Gladstone, you should have the foresight to register your interest in a job now.
If you have a long-term stake in Gladstone, you should have the foresight to register your interest in a job now. Brenda Strong

Big opportunity for man overseeing Yarwun refinery build

AN opportunity of a lifetime brought Phil Fletcher to Gladstone. Along with his partner Jess, the couple moved from Wagga Wagga so Phil could help bring on board the new Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun.

"At no big company could I have come to this level so quickly, and it's great that Southern Oil has shown that confidence in me as well," the 30-year-old said.

"Where else would I get to run and manage a new $55 million plant? It's pretty exciting."

Some of the groundwork had already been laid before Phil came to town, but he was able to see the modular structure put together over three days at the site.

"Now comes the fun part of putting all the pieces - the valves, bolts and different equipment - in the puzzle," he said.

Along with his team, he's been working non-stop over Christmas to get the plant to its operational stage, but managed to pop down to Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy for a short break.

"It was a mad house down there, but it was beautiful," he said.

"I've been working so much that I haven't been able to see the area and what Gladstone can offer."

Originally from Newcastle, Phil joined Southern Oil as an operations manager for 15 months before he was offered the gig in Gladstone.

He isn't enjoying the humidity at the moment, but knows it will be worth it.

The joint venture between Southern Oil and JJ Richards will see 130 million litres of waste oil every year prevented from being burnt.

"It's going to run out one day in the ground so hopefully we can stop people disposing of it irresponsibly," he said.

The plant is due to be operational by late February.



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