Independent tank storage service provider Vopak, petrol and diesel supplier Greenergy and oil major Shell UK are to acquire the bankrupt Coryton refinery in Essex after forming an agreement with the joint administrators of Petroplus refining and Marketing.
The three companies plan to turn the refinery into an import and distribution terminal under Vopak’s management. The existing facility will undergo some infrastructural enhancements, including the addition of modern blending technology.
The terminal will be built to handle an initial capacity of 500,000m3 but this could be doubled to 1 million m3 in the future.
Vopak, Greenergy and Shell will be equal shareholders of the new joint venture. Final agreements still need to be decided on the future design and operational capabilities of the terminal. Following these decisions Vopak will execute the development phase, and operate the terminal when construction has been completed. Greenergy and Shell will sign long-term contracts with the joint venture.
‘This investment will create the UK’s first deepwater fuel import terminal, making it possible to bring in diesel economically from the most modern refineries anywhere in the world,’ says Greenergy CEO Andrew Owens. ‘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, adds: ‘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.’