A BUSINESS is undertaking a £4m expansion at Great Yarmouth Energy Park while freeing up a prime site for offshore energy investment beside the Outer Harbour – thanks to a commercial agreement with Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
The park is targeted at businesses related to the port, logistics or energy sectors, which need to be close to the port. Brineflow Properties and Handling Ltd are making a substantial infrastructure investment in large shoreside tanks for liquid fertilisers at South Denes that will benefit farmers and growers throughout the region.
Brineflow rely on proximity to the port to receive ship-borne fertiliser cargoes via an existing dedicated pipeline. Provided alternative pipelines can be provided, they do not need to be located right beside the Outer Harbour at their existing location. The business has therefore agreed with the borough council to vacate its base on the Enterprise Zone, in South Denes Road, to a nearby site with a new pipeline access to the quayside.
This releases this prime 2-hectare (5-acre) site, which will be promoted by the council to businesses in offshore wind farms and gas platform decommissioning, ensuring the borough is best placed to capture the significant jobs, investment and regeneration opportunities in these growing areas.
Working with the borough council and supported with a £300,000 grant from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Brineflow is relocating slightly further north to land it already controls on previously vacant sites on the energy park, off South Denes Road.
As part of the move, Brineflow is making a £4m investment to support its growth as a business, constructing modern liquid fertiliser tanks, storage vessels and manufacturing and processing equipment, supported by new underground pipework to carry the imported fertiliser from ship tankers in the river port.
Since work started on phase one in September, the pipework and construction of two of the largest storage tanks is already completed, with a five further large finished product tanks, plus processing and distribution equipment, scheduled to be added in the New Year. The new buildings will follow in a later development phase.
Cllr Graham Plant, council leader, said: “As England’s offshore energy capital, Great Yarmouth is at the forefront of £39bn of energy investment over the next 20 years and is a growing hub for both offshore wind farms and gas platform decommissioning.
“This amicable commercial agreement between the council and Brineflow is a win-win for our economy, unlocking a prime development site, adjacent to the Outer Harbour, to attract further investment in these growing areas, in addition to facilitating a £4m private sector investment in the energy park from local families in a growing business.
“This is part of our work with partners to progress the energy park and unlock further space for businesses related to the port, logistics or energy sectors, which need to be close to the river port or Outer Harbour, so they can continue to relocate to and expand within the area, capturing significant jobs, growth and regeneration opportunities for the borough and region.”
Ian Ferris, Brineflow Commercial Director, said: “Our investment cements Great Yarmouth’s reputation as a premier league Agri-bulk port close to key European markets. The use of conveniently pumpable Liquid fertilisers is the most environmentally-benign and efficient way for farmers to drive crop productivity in the field. It helps growers become more competitive and better able to address global markets. Backed by our network of global supply partners, this new factory addresses a fast-growing market and puts Yarmouth firmly on the map.
“We are delighted to have worked proactively and creatively with the Port, the Council and New Anglia LEP to unlock this substantial private sector investment and to simultaneously release an important block of land adjacent to the Outer Harbour for other productive uses. Use of the special LDO planning powers knocked at least a year off the normal construction time scale.
“We are proud to have worked exclusively with a network of local contractors like Munnings, A&P and SPS and other local technical experts like Canham Consulting and REAL to build a modern and lasting facility that will triple our production capacity whilst being constructed to the most stringent construction and environmental standards.”
Doug Field, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Our Oil and Gas Taskforce was set up to help businesses diversify and move into new industry sectors and markets. Brineflow have done that, with the added advantages of generating new investment, creating new jobs and freeing up a prime site along our all-energy coast.”
Cllr Barry Stone, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Business and Property Committee, said: “This is very welcome news. We have worked closely with the Borough Council to help develop the Energy Park strategy, and this announcement will not only lead to a major investment on the park itself, but enable us to promote a larger site to attract energy-related investment.”
Great Yarmouth Energy Park comprises a 50-acre area of existing employment land, which is already subject to a Local Development Order (LDO), making the planning permission process very straightforward for port, logistics and energy industry-related use.
The vision for the park is backed by key firms in the sector, including Seajacks, ODE and Aker Solutions, all of which have a Great Yarmouth presence, as well as organisations including New Anglia LEP, EEEGR (East of England Energy Group), Norfolk and Suffolk Energy Alliance, and Ventureforth, which owns about a third of the energy park site.
Brineflow is owned by local families that previously owned J & H Bunn Ltd, a national fertiliser business that was headquartered in Great Yarmouth for nearly 200 years before being acquired by new American owners in 2011.
To find out more about opportunities in Great Yarmouth and the Great Yarmouth Energy Park, contact the economic development team on 01493 846431 or visit www.greatyarmouthenergypark.co.uk