Ambitious plans for a huge 415-acre logistics ‘superhub’ on the site of the former Coryton oil refinery on the River Thames in Essex have been revealed.
The multimodal development, which is expected to create up to 5,000 new jobs, will benefit from direct access to the River Thames and a railfreight interchange and boasts excellent road links to London, which is just 33 miles away.
The site was originally purchased by a joint venture including Vopak, Shell and Greenergy, who took over the 580-acre site in September 2012. Developer iSec Group, in partnership with Greenergy, the UK’s largest fuel supplier, are now hoping to develop 415 acres of the site in what is north-west Europe’s largest single regeneration project.
The Park will comprise four separate ‘hubs’, focusing on food, energy, sustainable industries and innovation. iSec, the industrial development arm of Marcol, is already one of the UK’s largest owner of cold stores, and it sees a clear strategy of locating ‘clusters’ of food manufacturers and distributors in one dedicated food hub close to London.
Mike Forster, Development Director at iSec, explained: “The new food hub will give operators the chance to start from scratch and bring forward the next generation of logistics for the food industry, allowing them to incorporate future automation and technologies, such as industry 4.0, and bring chilled storage, distribution and manufacturing together on one site.”
Located close to the Thames Oilport fuel terminal, the proposed scheme also includes an energy hub, targeting a variety of waste-to-energy uses which could ultimately complement the energy requirements of operators in the food hub, with the potential for a private wire network.
The final element of Thames Enterprise Park is an innovation hub providing skills, training and R&D facilities in a dedicated state-of-the art facility, with a mix of office, amenity and conferencing space aimed at enhancing training and job opportunities in the Thames Gateway.
Mike added: “Each of the four elements of the scheme has the potential to support and sustain each other, with energy generated by the energy park being utilised by the food hub, waste food providing feedstock for the energy hub and waste-derived fuels from the energy park being utilised by Greenergy at the adjacent Thames Oilport.”
Considerable progress has already been made to prepare the site for development, including the remediation of the first phase of around 100 acres. An outline planning application is expected to be submitted to Thurrock Council at the end of March 2018, with consent anticipated later in the year.
Isec is currently approaching all of the main food operators to discuss their supply chains and putting together proposals about the benefits of locating to Thames Enterprise Park.
“The key message is that we are not only providing a ‘superhub’ and next generation logistics, but hopefully a unique location opportunity too; something of this scale and connectivity so close to the capital is very rare,” Mike added.
Posted on: February 6th 2018