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Vitol takes on Shell retail centers in Australia

Company aims to spend close to $1 billion on new business structure.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Energy and commodity trading company Vitol said Wednesday it launched a retail business service in Australia after acquiring assets from Royal Dutch Shell.

Vitol said it formed Viva Energy Australia, a downstream energy business comprised of the Geelong refinery in the country, as well as 870 retail fueling centers.

Viva Energy Chief Executive Officer Scott Wyatt said Vitol has a century-long history in Australia, a position strengthened by the new business entity.

"We expect to invest $926 million over the next five years so we can continue to meet more than a quarter of Australia's fuel needs efficiently and safely," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Vitol in February announced it was paying $2.6 billion to Shell to buy its downstream business in Australia.

"Our customers will continue to benefit from Shell's investment in research and development and the high level of service they have come to expect of us," Wyatt said.

In early August, Shell said it was reviewing its options regarding its shares in Australian energy company Woodside after a rejected buy-back bid.

Shell is trying to divest in its longtime partner Woodside in an effort to cut down on costs.

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