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Aggregates sector to benefit from new LPG storage facility

Avonmouth facility

Flogas Britain granted permission to convert former LNG site into UK’s largest LPG storage terminal

THE UK aggregates industry is set to benefit from a new, large-scale LPG storage facility – one that will significantly bolster its gas security in rural, off-grid areas. 

The news comes with the announcement that Flogas Britain, one of the UK’s leading liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) suppliers, have been granted planning permission to convert the National Grid LNG facility in Avonmouth into an LPG terminal, with the capacity to store 34,564 tonnes of LPG.

The facility, which will be the largest of its kind in the UK, will significantly increase Flogas’ LPG storage capability, providing unprecedented security of supply to the aggregates industry, as well as other commercial and residential customers both in the South West and across the UK.

Formerly owned by the National Grid, the Avonmouth facility was previously only licensed to store LNG (liquefied natural gas). However, the permissions granted by Gloucestershire County Council allow for a change in content, switching the site’s usage from LNG to LPG storage.

The usage switch means that, once open, the Avonmouth facility will further strengthen Flogas’ distribution network, providing customers with an unrivalled UK LPG supply chain.

Lee Gannon, managing director of Flogas Britain, said: ‘Once operational, Avonmouth will be a game-changer; massively increasing the UK’s total LPG storage capability. Our investment in this demonstrates our unwavering commitment to security of LPG supply and to the LPG industry in general.’

The timing of the planning permission announcement comes at a crucial time for the UK energy industry, as it digests the implications of the Clean Growth Strategy and the need to move away from high-carbon fossil fuels.

Mr Gannon continued: ‘LPG has an important role to play in delivering the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, providing off-grid businesses and homeowners with an excellent low-carbon, low-cost alternative to oil and solid fuels.

‘Bringing Avonmouth online will allow us to respond to the rise in demand this will create with an unparalleled, dependable nationwide supply of LPG, while at the same time supporting the UK’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan.’

John Butterworth, president and chief operating officer of global transmission for National Grid Ventures, added: ‘The Avonmouth gas-storage facility has been at the heart of providing safe and secure gas supplies from National Grid during the last 40 years.

‘As the gas pipeline networks have grown and expanded deeper into the South West and Wales, the site is no longer necessary for National Grid’s business and its consumers. I’m enormously proud and it gives me great pleasure to be able to hand it over to Flogas Britain, a business with more than 30 years’ experience of supplying LPG to tens of thousands of customers across the UK.

‘LPG is a safe, clean, reliable and affordable low-carbon fuel which is supplied to customers who are not connected to the mains grid. The storage capability Avonmouth provides means that Flogas Britain…can guarantee gas supply to their customers via one of the largest LPG distribution networks in the UK.’

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