LIVERPOOL Bulk Liquids (LBL) has completed its £1.5m expansion at West Langton Dock.
The firm relocated a large number of redundant storage tanks from the former Mobil site at Birkenhead to West Langton in a cross-river operation that began in 2009.
LBL is now operating its expanded site and has just handled its third ship in six weeks.
The relocation programme involved moving a complete oil terminal across the River Mersey, using the Mersey Mammoth floating crane.
Managing director Paul Maxwell said: “The sheer logistical challenge of moving very large tanks 50 feet in diameter by 30 feet high would have been enough for one of the major storage operators, but for us, with just myself and our small team, it was exceptionally difficult.
“Fortunately, I have extensive experience in the movement of out of gauge cargo going back to my shipbroker days, so, in the end, the project completed on time and on budget, moving 35 tanks in six barge trips, with the final load arriving in January.”
Mr Maxwell’s business plan was based on a shortage of bulk liquid storage space in the Mersey.
He said: “We had, as a port, lost various facilities over the years that did not get replaced and the time had come to invest in infrastructure again.
“The three recent vessels have contributed £150,000 in income that simply would not have come to the port if we hadn’t done this.
“We have, thus, demonstrated that investment in port infrastructure can pay off handsomely and this is why we are behind Peel Ports 100% in their forthcoming plans to invest on a much larger scale.
“We would recommend companies to follow our lead.
“Infrastructure creates opportunities for us and our customers alike with our investment bringing money into the local economy that wasn’t there before and this money equals jobs and prosperity.”
The LBL development has seen a four-fold rise in capacity, from 6,000 tonnes in 2010 to 25,000 tonnes now.
Mr Maxwell added: “We did not have to over-extend our financing. Refurbishing tanks is far cheaper than new building. In fact, the quality of the workmanship of the older tanks is quite stunning.”