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Domestic success paves the way for export growth: Refuel International

refuel international tanker

The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for Melbourne-based Refuel International, with domestic and international success supporting the growth of a unique Australian manufacturer that supports critical Australian defence capability. 

Celebrating 50 years in 2018, Refuel International combines extensive knowledge and experience as a solutions provider and original equipment manufacturer. Refuel International has established a position for itself as a local and global leader in mobile aviation refuelling equipment and provider of choice for major oil companies, airlines and national defence forces. 


Refuel International specialises in the design, development and manufacture of mobile refuelling equipment, with products incorporating leading-edge technology, safety and ergonomic design features, with key developments including:

  • Refuellers with a variety of tank capacities;
  • Hydrant dispensers;
  • Gecko (mini hydrant dispensers);
  • Military refuelling vehicles;
  • Drop and go containerised refuelling systems;
  • Pit cleaner/flushing carts and hydrant service vehicles; 
  • Hydrant carts;
  • Rail Connect System (inline refuelling capability); and
  • Bunkering refuelling vehicles. 

Refuel International's specialised bunkering and military refuelling vehicles provide the basis for the company's engagement with Defence, both serving specialised roles. 

  • Bunkering vehicles: A shore-to-ship refuelling unit which facilitate the transfer and metering of fuel from an onshore hydrant to a ship by way of a delivery hose supported by the truck's crane boom. The bunkering vehicles are designed for dual side operation and maximises operator comfort and safety. The modular design, developed by Refuel International, supports the easy transfer of the tank to another chassis if required. 
  • Military aviation vehicles: Refuel International has a long history of supporting aviation refuelling equipment to both the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces since the early 1980s. The ADF currently uses the 8.6kl, 10kl, 15kl and 30kl refuellers and hydrant dispensers in its fleet.

Recently, Refuel International capitalised on this history of successful contracting with the ADF to secure the $47 million JP 157 Phase 1 program to supply the ADF with 107 new refuelling vehicles; comprising 17 hydrant dispensers and 90 refuellers (43 rigid, 47 articulated). 

Winning the contract enabled Refuel International to expand its local workforce by more than 60 across the country, with the majority based in Victoria.

Then minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne said at the time, "Delivery of the remaining 97 vehicles will continue progressively with the final delivery scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2019. This represents another example of Australian industry working in partnership with the government to achieve results and create jobs." 

Refuel International has leveraged the success secured with Defence to expand overseas, with a number of successes including: 

  • Supplying over 1,500 units currently in operation around the world;
  • Currently supplying 80 units a year both domestically and into the Asia-Pacific and Middle East/north Africa regions;
  • Secured a strong customer base in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Pacific islands;
  • Established a competitive pricing position against North American and European equipment suppliers; and 
  • Providing refuelling and dispensing modules and full vehicle integration both domestically and internationally. 

This export success has paved the way for Refuel International to grow, develop and break the mold for Australian SMEs, showing the importance of quality, innovation and persistence, and that domestic success can serve as the foundation for growing international export success for Australian manufacturing.    

Domestic success paves the way for export growth: Refuel International
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