Royal Vopak, Greenergy, and Shell UK Limited have confirmed that they plan to develop and invest in a state-of-the-art import and distribution terminal to be managed by Vopak at the former Coryton refinery site.

The facility will be the UK’s first deep water fuel import terminal, allowing diesel to be brought into the UK cost-effectively. The initial storage capacity will be around 500,000 cubic meters (cbm), with potential to expand to up to one million cbm in later stages.

Vopak, Greenergy and Shell will be equal shareholders of the new joint venture, which will acquire and develop the assets and the site. After reaching final agreement on the future design and operational capabilities, Vopak, on behalf of the joint venture, will execute the development of this new facility and will operate the terminal when the works have been completed. Greenergy and Shell will sign long-term contracts with the joint venture.

The deep water import terminal will play an important role in ensuring a secure supply of oil products to the UK, enabling large import volumes.

The investment will be used to convert components of the current refinery infrastructure for use as a class-leading import terminal and this will involve operational, technical, safety and environmental enhancements to the current infrastructure, including modern blending technology.

Eelco Hoekstra, chairman of the executive board of Vopak, said: “Following the developments in the refining industry in the current market, we look forward to teaming up with our partners Greenergy and Shell and developing this facility into a state-of-the-art import and distribution terminal at this strategic location, ensuring safe and efficient operations for the UK market.”

Andrew Owens, Greenergy chief executive, commented: “This investment will create the UK’s first deep water fuel import terminal, making it possible to bring in diesel economically from the most modern refineries anywhere in the world. With diesel sales continuing to grow ahead of petrol sales in the UK, this is a vital development to ensure a low cost and reliable fuel supply for the British motorist in the years ahead.”

Graham van ’t Hoff, chairman of Shell UK, added: “This move will provide a long term, secure supply for our customers in the UK and will support the recent expansion of our retail network, delivering competitive supply chain costs.”

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