A multi-million fertiliser distribution and storage hub, helping ease the UK’s fertiliser crisis, has officially opened its doors.
Brineflow Limited, a leading manufacturer of liquid nitrogen fertilisers for the agricultural sectors, has opened a new storage and distribution hub at Port of Sunderland as part of its bid to help UK farmers embrace net-zero and be more competitive in global markets.
The terminal – which has been constructed to the most demanding environmental standards – will see Brineflow distribute liquid fertilisers for farmers between the Humber and Forth, creating a number of jobs and breathing new commercial life into disused land at Youngs Quay in the port.
Headquartered in Great Yarmouth, the company pinpointed Port of Sunderland as its second base due to its strategic position on the east coast with close proximity to strategic suppliers in the Baltic States and for larger cargoes trans-shipped in Rotterdam and other European ports.
John Fuller OBE, Chairman of Brineflow, said: “The opening of our new North East hub at such a critical mid-point on the east coast will see Brineflow become a truly national company and will help us further increase our share of the UK’s ever-growing liquid fertiliser market.
“Over recent years, the market for liquid nitrogen fertilisers has been increasing rapidly as farmers the world-over race to become net-zero, leading to a surge in demand for our products from companies across the UK.
“Thanks to our investment in Port of Sunderland – there will no longer be a need for double handling or using single-use plastics, we’ll have complete environmental containment. In fact, the first time our fertilisers see the atmosphere will be when they emerge from the farmer’s spray nozzle in the field.
“With fewer steps, lower emission and zero waste, our new terminal will allow farmers to reduce their Total Environmental Impact by round a fifth compared to traditionally used fertilisers. Our unique engineered approach from Factory to Field will help farmers achieve their net zero targets.”
Brineflow also places a heavy focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well as its carbon agenda and – as a result – made a commitment to use local North East suppliers throughout the planning, design and construction phases of the hub.
“We made a commitment right at the beginning to ensure that every pound we spent on the development of the new hub was a pound that went right back into the local economy,” John added.
“This meant using local architects and civil engineers, right the way through to procuring local contractors for the construction and fit-out and – as we look to establish Sunderland at the heart of a global supply chain for liquid nitrogen fertilisers – this is a trend we will continue, supporting local logistics companies and creating jobs for local people.”
The first phase of the Brineflow terminal will provide the company with the opportunity to store 9,010 tonnes of liquid nitrogen fertiliser, however planning permission has already been secured for the development of further space that would increase capacity four-fold to over 40,000 tonnes, should the need arise.
John said: “Sunderland City Council and the Port have been proactive partners since we announced our intentions to expand into the North East. We knew that, in order to fulfil our goal of being as economically and environmentally sustainable as possible, we’d need local knowledge to provide the attention to detail required and the Council and the team at the Port delivered that in spades.”
Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, and chair of Port of Sunderland, oversaw the cutting of the ribbon on Monday [26th July] and praised the impact the investment will have on the city.
Speaking at the event, he said: “As a city, we made a commitment last year to become carbon neutral by 2040 and we’re absolutely thrilled to see Brineflow – a company which shares our passion for tackling climate change – investing in the Port of Sunderland.
“Just last year, Scandinavian start-up Wastefront AS announced plans to construct the UK’s greenest tyre recycling plant at the port and this continued investment by companies into the hub shows just how attractive a proposition the port – and the wider city – have to investors.
“We’re delighted to have supported Brineflow and look forward to working with them long into the future.”