Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Vopak: We will be good Thurrock neighbours
7:30am Monday 15th October 2012 in News
VOPAK will do what it can to support the local community, according to the company‘s managing director.
Coryton entered a new era last week as Vopak moved on to the site, revealing the plant will be called the Thames Oil Port.
The company, which will work with Shell and Greenergy as it turns the refinery into a state-of-the-art deep water import terminal, has a lot to live up to following Petroplus’ hard work in the community.
Previously, workers, residents and local businesses have expressed concern at the impact the refinery’s closure will have on the community.
More than 850 jobs have been lost and in June, Kerry Hawkes, 39, of Kersbrook Way, Corringham, said she had “massive concerns” about the impact on her business, Sassy Lashes in Corringham.
The Pegasus Club, in Herd Lane, which has over 1,000 members, is one community hotspot which is under particular threat, especially as it was owned by Petroplus, Coryton’s parent company.
But Ian Cochrane, the Vopak UK managing director, said: “We have had quite a few discussions with Thurrock Council, the Corringham and Fobbing community forum and the Pegasus club.
“We are a relatively low key company, but we will do what we can and help the community where we can.”
Mr Cochrane said he does not want to see the Pegasus Club close. He added: “The Pegasus Club is on land that PwC owns and it has to go through a process with the club. “We will help where we can within the constraints, but it’s not something we inherited through this deal.
“There is also a lot of land on the Coryton site that won’t be needed for the terminal. The partnership we have with Greenergy and Shell is a dynamic one, so we will look at those assets and how best they can be regenerated. There’s a lot of office space, for instance.
“The best thing we can do for the community is be successful. If we’re successful, then we’ll be benefiting those who run cafes and businesses in the area.
“That will also bring more jobs to the terminal, through the servicing needs. If the terminal is successful, there will be more need for those who moor ships and that will bring more jobs.”
Currently, 70 people have been taken on by the new owners, who will be overseeing the day-to-day maintenance.
The MD of Vopak, which has operated a terminal in Purfleet for more than 50 years, added: “We’ve been a good citizen in Thurrock. We don’t do things for short term gain. So while we’re not bringing a vast number of jobs, we do bring long term sustainability and committment.”