Thames Oilport has taken receipt of a diesel shipment for the first time since the closure of the Coryton refinery. It is the first in a series of diesel shipments to be stored on site.

Coryton had supplied 20% of London and the South East’s fuel but its owner Petroplus collapsed in January 2012 and it ceased production in June that year.

The development of Thames Oilport is being carried out in phases. The current phase brings into use about 176,000 cubic metres (cbm) of tankage, which will be used by Greenergy for diesel storage to take advantage of contango market conditions.

It follows extensive refurbishment of tanks in the east part of the site ranging in size from 24-39,000 cbm, as well as redevelopment and automation of a complex pumping exchange and a network of piping connecting the tanks to the Thames jetty. At this stage of Thames Oilport’s development, fuel is being moved into and out of the terminal by ship.

Work will continue to complete the next phase, adding a further 64,000 cbm of storage by the third quarter of 2016.

Chris Brookhouse, chief executive of Thames Oilport, commented: “Everyone here is delighted to have oil back on site at last. There has been a lot of activity to prepare for this day, and there’s a lot more still to do. We have a route-map to continue to develop the facility, and we’ll be bringing more tankage into use by the end of the year and adding more capability thereafter.”

Thames Oilport, a deep-water fuel terminal located on the site of the former Coryton refinery, is a joint venture two thirds owned by Greenergy with Shell owning one third.