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Anticipating demand to satisfy our customers’ needs

We are building a new bitumen terminal on the eastern edge of London, to benefit our customers, economically and environmentally.

  • Default description.
    Total's new bitumen terminal
  • Default description.
    Satisfying the UK's bitumen needs
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    Improved security of bitumen supply

Ensuring that businesses have access to the energy supplies and products they need to power their operations is at the heart of what Total does, each and every day. To do that effectively requires an understanding of what customers will need in the future – the reason why, in the UK, Total is investing in a new bitumen import terminal.

The Need for More Bitumen

A ten-year programme by the government to expand the British roads network was a welcome investment but one that required additional support in other infrastructure projects. The constraint was that bitumen suppliers were operating at capacity. That meant a potential brake on any new roads being laid. At Total, we already supplied around 25 percent of the bitumen market. Traditionally this was sourced from facilities in the north of the country but these had reached a ceiling in terms of supply. There was no scope to expand production. We recognised that to satisfy road builders’ demand for bitumen meant we needed to make it readily available where it was needed most – in the south of England.

Creating Access – Where it is Needed

Nearly half of the demand for the bitumen used in road building in the UK exists in south-east. The largest shortages of supply occur in the region too, due in part to the closure of facilities there. This is why we will build a new terminal on the eastern edge of London, to benefit our customers, economically and environmentally. We partnered with Navigator Terminals, a specialist in the handling and storage of liquid chemicals, gasses and oil products. Within their existing terminal on the river Thames there was scope for a new facility capable of managing 100,000 tonnes of imports annually. That was the way to make increased supplies of bitumen available to our customers, existing and new.

Security – and Quality – of Supply

With a 15-year operating contract, the southern terminal creates a win-win situation. It puts bitumen close to where customers need it. For them, that means better economic sense, improved security of supply and increased delivery capacity. Bitumen is sourced from our other European refineries. That ensures quality of supply as well as access to our specialty products. For Total, establishing the southern terminal means greater flexibility. It creates the capacity to supply existing customers, along with the opportunity to build partnerships with a growing range of new businesses. Besides greater accessibility, the terminal is bringing other benefits. Close to the motorway network, shorter and fewer delivery journeys are contributing to lower emissions and better environmental performance.

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