Blyth: Five Years and Over a Quarter of a Million Metric Tonnes Later

This month marked the five-year anniversary of the opening of our state-of-the-art marine gas oil terminal at the Port of Blyth – a 15 million litre fuel storage and distribution facility located at the Bates Terminal, on the south side of the harbour.

This ambitious construction project began at the end of 2013 and took just over a year to complete, breathing new life into a site that was once a key part of the local coal industry, and contributing to the ongoing regeneration and expansion of the port. We filmed the whole thing and sped it up into this neat two-minute time-lapse video:

The project was the brainchild of our Managing Director Barry Newton, who could see the benefits of storing fuel in between the UK’s major oil refineries at Immingham and Fawley, and the busy port of Aberdeen further north. Because of its strategic location, Blyth now serves as a central hub for the Geos Group’s sea transportation operations up and down the east coast.

Since we opened for business in early 2015, we have sold almost 260,000 metric tonnes of fuel from our three storage tanks at Blyth, with around a quarter of this volume being delivered ex-pipe on the quayside. The rest was delivered by road – our supply partner Par Petroleum has a fleet of 24 road tankers that come and go, fuelling ships in ports across the north of England and the wider UK.

Liz Winship, Blyth’s Terminal Manager, has been involved in the Blyth project from the beginning of its construction phase. She now leads a team of local operators, who work flexible hours to ensure that fuel is available 24 hours a day all year round. She also works closely with many of the other businesses operating at the port, who have got to know each other through regular networking meetings.

Liz says: “It was fascinating to see this terminal being built from the ground up. I witnessed every phase from the first digger arriving on site to the laying of the underground pipeline, seeing the roofs going on the tanks and welcoming our first vessel, the Shannon Fisher, bringing in the fuel. I am very proud of what we have all achieved together as a team.”

The Geos Group’s Operations Manager Norman Donaldson is also heavily involved in what goes on at Blyth. With over 30 years of experience in the tank storage business, Norman keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently in all our UK storage locations, thanks to his expertise and knowledge of technical matters, health and safety issues, industry best practice and legal compliance requirements.

Our terminal at Blyth has transformed the way we do business and has enabled us to become the biggest independent marine fuel supplier in the UK. It is hard to believe that five years have passed already!

Photo credit: Chris Walbottle