CLLR Andy Smith, Thurrock’s regeneration portfolio holder, has highlighted an item about what he’s described as “Thurrock’s secret success story” at the July 2nd cabinet meeting.
There is an item on the Thames Enterprise Park, the site which used to be the Petroplus oil refinery at Coryton and Cllr Smith said: “There has been a great deal of publicity about DP World, the Port of Tilbury, Purfleet, Lakeside and Grays, but the enterprise park and Thames Oilport has been quietly getting on with business – not least the jet-fuel-from-biofuel British Airways deal in April.
“This is a hugely exciting proposal following the unexpected closure of Petrolpus in 2012 which saw 700 jobs lost, 300 of them the jobs of Thurrock people.
“When the refinery closed, we led a task force which supported those who lost their jobs with financial advice, training and links with other opportunities – it was well received and recognised by Government as good practice at the time.”
He added: “In the past year the council has formed a strong relationship with the new owners Thames Oilport – a consortium made up of VOPAK, Shell and Greenergy, – and have been working up proposals for Thames Enterprise Park.
“Through this work an exciting vision has emerged to create a hub for energy and environmental technology companies. At 400 acres this will be the largest of its kind in the South East and has the potential to place Thurrock at the forefront of the sustainable energy sector.”
The first occupant, after Thames Oilport itself, was the GreenSky project announced in April 2014, a $550 million project employing 150 people which will convert half a million tonnes of landfill waste into liquid bio-fuel, 50,000 tonnes of which will be bio-jet fuel for British Airways.
Cllr Smith said: “We’ve always highlighted the importance of local jobs for local people and the need to provide the right training and education so local people can get those jobs.
“Here we can see those priorities and aspirations becoming fact as the council and the enterprise park have agreed to securing the maximum local benefit in jobs.
“This is currently Thurrock’s secret success story – I don’t think it will be secret for long.”