UK’s Largest Fertiliser Shipment Boosts Security of Supply
The nation’s farmers and consumers will benefit from the dawn of a new era in British agriculture this week as one of the largest fertiliser vessels ever to visit the nation’s shores docked at Port of Sunderland.
The giant TORM AUSTRALIA, which can carry 50,000 tonnes, has brought much-needed nitrogen fertiliser from the Americas to the UK, reducing the nation’s reliance on fertilisers sourced from traditional domestic and near-continental suppliers that are in short supply.
Fertilisers are the lifeblood of the entire food chain, helping farmers be more productive, efficient and cost-effective. The fertilisers will be stored at Brineflow’s new, purpose-built, deep-water fertiliser terminal before being processed and delivered directly to farms throughout the country.
The new Sunderland terminal give the UK reliable access to global supplies of fertiliser. and is fast becoming a critical piece of UK infrastructure. It provides us with sufficient capacity to meet peak demand in the spring whilst replacing domestic sources of fertiliser production, which have been curtailed.
It’s not only farmers that will be benefiting. Bringing fertilisers from some of the world’s lowest-cost producers will bear-down on the cost of living for everyone. The new terminal has been engineered to reduce fertilisers’ total carbon and nitrous factory-to-field emissions by a fifth compared to traditional fertilisers.
John Fuller OBE, chairman of Brineflow, said: “This is the first vessel to open up new global fertiliser markets for the UK and will place Sunderland at the heart of the UK’s agricultural supply industry right at the start of the food chain.
We are already planning subsequent voyages and exploring the onward shipping of this imported product to other destinations in the UK, including our sister facility in Great Yarmouth by smaller ship tankers.”
The TORM AUSTRALIA will be the first of many giant tankers to dock at the port following the signing of a strategic joint venture between Brineflow and German agricultural giant, HELM AG in November.
Headquartered in Hamburg, HELM AG is a producer of fertiliser with extensive liquid nitrogen [UAN] manufacturing capabilities in Trinidad, meaning it can ship large vessels to the British market from an area unconstrained by European gas shortages.
Fuller added: “The UK’s reliance on European fertilisers produced with Russian gas has caused severe damage to our food supply and the economy in recent years. However, the joint venture with HELM AG will help secure our food supply for years to come.
We will have the capacity to deal with producers far and wide, making our farmers far more competitive, while bringing costs down for consumers.
It’s a huge milestone for not only the sector, but for the nation, and we’re delighted to be playing such a key role in helping secure the nation’s food supply.”
Carrying the Danish flag, the 183 metre long TORM AUSTRALIA was built in 2011 and boasts a carrying capacity of 49,999 tonnes, making it one of the largest ships to ever dock at the port. Three tugs will be needed to guide the vessel in and out of the port.
Cllr Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council and chairman of Port of Sunderland, said: “We have worked closely with Brineflow since they opened their first terminal at the port in 2021 and we are thrilled that they are continuing to invest in the city.
As well as creating jobs at the terminal, they have also supported jobs throughout the supply chain and at the port and the new terminal coming into operation will only see the company continue to build on its success.
We’re delighted to have them in the city and are looking forward to seeing them continue to go from strength-to-strength.”