Felixstowe landmark set to go

ONE of Felixstowe's best-known landmarks is to disappear - and is set to close in a year.The huge Calor Gas Terminal has been a feature of the town's landscape since the mid 1960s.

ONE of Felixstowe's best-known landmarks is to disappear - and is set to close in a year.

The huge Calor Gas Terminal has been a feature of the town's landscape since the mid 1960s.

The white cylinder at the Port of Felixstowe holds 30,000 tonnes of liquid petroleum gas and is designed with super-thick walls so an explosion would go upwards rather than outwards.

But the £250 million expansion of the port - set to start later this spring - means Calor will lose its LPG pipeline and jetty and will no longer be able to function.


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Calor Gas is a tenant of Hutchison Ports and has now been told it must make preparations for the closure of its eight-acre site.

The centre imports around 50,000 tonnes of LPG a year, which is stored and collected by lorry. It employs about six people at the site.

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Head of corporate affairs at the port, Paul Davey said: “Calor has a year to cease its operations. The company has to make the site safe and decommission the buildings.”

The enormous refrigerated LPG tank would in time be demolished, freeing another site at the port for new business - similar work has been taking place at the Tank Farm, which has also been removed.

While the Calor Gas site has provided jobs over many years, most people believe removing it will increase safety in the town.

Many development proposals have been refused over the years because of the closeness of the centre off Dock Road - with the Health and Safety Executive ruling that it is too dangerous to build new homes or leisure facilities near to it because of the slim possibility of an explosion.

Residents of Cavendish Park have in the past had information packs dropped through their letterboxes detailing what to do should there be an emergency.

The public inquiry into the port expansion project was told the removal of the Calor Gas plant would reduce the risk of a major accident at the port, although it was stressed that the risk of an incident involving toxic chemicals and gases was low and the facility had an excellent track record.

The types of incident which could occur would be a flashpoint explosion of LPG or a leak of a substance such as bromine from the Tank Farm which would form a toxic cloud to float or be blown over the town.

FASTFACTS: LPG Terminal

The Calor Gas tank was built in 1964.

At the time it was the largest refrigeration tank in the UK.

It is 108ft tall and 172ft in diameter.

The surrounding wall is designed to hold one-and-a-half times its full capacity in case of a leak.

An emergency plan has been drawn up to deal with an incident.

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