Fuel is flowing to and from Port Taranaki’s refurbished storage and distribution terminal near New Plymouth.
Lessee BP New Zealand has started operation at the former Chevron tank farm on Centennial Drive, with the first diesel passing through the terminal earlier this month. Petrol is expected to be on-stream early in 2018.
Port Taranaki bought the facility in 2015 and entered into an operational agreement with BP New Zealand to enable larger parcels of petrol and diesel to be shipped in, stored and distributed throughout the region, reducing costs and the number of road tankers coming into Taranaki to deliver fuel.
More than 100 million litres of fuel is expected to pass through the terminal annually.
“The facility needed extensive refurbishment ahead of lessee BP taking responsibility for its operation,” Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said.
“This work began in August last year and has included a new truck-loading gantry, a new control system, new tank-gauging systems and the replacement of pumps and valves.”
Port Taranaki has also brought the associated pipeline to the Newton King Tanker Terminal and a loading arm on the terminal back into use to support the project.
Mr Roper said the work had gone well and he was delighted the facility was now operational.
“We saw the purchase and refurbishment of the site as an opportunity to secure an important piece of infrastructure for the region and develop long-term commercial opportunities for our business. It will have the twin benefits of fuelling Taranaki’s businesses, farms and communities, and reducing the number of fuel trucks on our roads, with large amounts of fuel coming into the region by ship rather than by road tanker,” he said.
“A facility of this nature demands high operating standards and the health and safety of staff and contractors is a priority. With new Major Hazard Facility regulations in place following the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, the work required a lot of collaboration from the many parties involved.
“Throughout the process we’ve had a great relationship with BP New Zealand and thank them for their support and knowledge as we have worked to make the terminal operational,” Mr Roper said.
BP general manager marketing supply, Courtney Ireland, echoed Mr Roper’s statements.
“Safety is a No 1 priority for BP, so it was very important to us that the terminal was converted in adherence with the new Major Hazard Facility regulations.
“Terminals are an extremely important part of BP’s strategy, and enable us to effectively support the needs of our customers across the country. BP is pleased and proud to be in a partnership with Port Taranaki that allows us to support ongoing growth in the Taranaki region,” Mr Ireland said.