Peel Ports Group on 31 July announced a deal worth GBP40 million (USD62.4 million) with the Hydrodec Group that will see the UK’s first purpose-built oil re-refinery constructed on a nine-acre site at Port Wirral in Eastham.
Hydrodec, which operates two other used oil re-refineries, in Ohio, US, and in New South Wales, Australia, expects to begin construction in 2016 and have the facility on stream in 18 months. It picked Port Wirral – which is being redeveloped – because of excellent transport connections by road, rail, and water, the latter via the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal.
Speaking to IHS Maritime, a Peel Ports spokeswoman said, “The biggest infrastructure challenge in redeveloping Port Wirral for the re-refinery will be the relocation of MSC Eastham Football Club – which is currently based at the site – to a long-term sustainable location at Bromborough Pool.
“At their cost of around GBP400,000, Peel Ports will construct new and improved facilities to support the club, including construction of three new pitches with changing facilities and an associated car park.
“Subject to planning permission under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning regime – we’ve just started the NSIP process – the GBP40 million new oil re-refinery at Queen Elizabeth II Docks at the mouth of the Manchester Ship Canal forms the first phase of the redevelopment.”
When asked about specific challenges in building the facility itself, the spokeswoman added, “We’re in a fortunate position that the site uses tried and tested technology. It’s also a hub of similar activities within an established port location with a number of customers, including NuStar and ERC, in the local area.”
The first to re-refine used oils in the UK, the facility will transform used oil – which would otherwise be treated as waste – into a new product that can be re-used as base oil, which is used as a building block to create lubricants used in a wide range of applications, particularly in the automotive and industrial sectors.
The re-refinery is estimated to create up to 40 jobs and apprenticeship opportunities, and will support further jobs during its construction. Basing themselves in the north west of England also allows Hydrodec to tap into the established petrochemicals expertise in the region.
Hydrodec CEO Ian Smale commented, “We are focused on developing the UK’s first purpose-built used lubricant oil-refinery producing the highest quality base oils and are currently fully engaged in the planning, permitting, and financing process for the project.
“This agreement lease is an important milestone in the development of our European hub to re-refine hydrocarbons. We considered various potential sites in the UK for the new re-refinery and selected Eastham for a number of reasons. The site is located in an established petrochemicals region and is allocated for employment use, provides good transport links by river and by road, while the availability of adjacent storage facilities means the size of the new plant can be kept to a minimum.”
Hydrodec’s deal with Peel Ports comes just four months after specialist food and logistics provider Culina signed an agreement to become the anchor tenant of Peel Ports’ new GBP125 million multimodal Port Salford logistics hub on the Manchester Ship Canal. Peel Ports is also investing GBP300 million to create the Liverpool2 deepwater container terminal at the port of Liverpool.