Southeast Queensland's population was growing at double the national average, and Brisbane had the greater potential of any other Australian city producing environmentally detrimental emissions in the 1990s.
As part of its worldwide “Clean Cities” program BP chose Brisbane as one of the 40 initial cities to produce clean fuels. The Bulwer Island Refinery expansion and Clean Fuels Project was to produce fuels with a low sulphur content.
Low-sulphur fuel helps improve local air quality by reducing diesel-fueled vehicles' exhaust smoke, sulphur dioxide emissions and odours. The project included the installation of the first hydrocracker in Australia.