Further expansion at Inver Energy

Under chief executive officer Chris O’Callaghan and his team, Inver Energy has gained a reputation as a reliable and innovative supplier

The company began over 30 years ago as an independent supplier of industrial fuel and steam coal to large end-users in Ireland, where a large presence is still maintained in these markets.

Inver Energy owns a 50% share in the Atlantic Fuel Supply Company’s oil import terminal at Foynes in the Shannon Estuary

Inver Energy owns a 50% share in the Atlantic Fuel Supply Company’s oil import terminal at Foynes in the Shannon Estuary

Since 2010, Inver Energy has operated through the new Atlantic Fuel Supply Company (AFSC) 82,000m3 oil import terminal at the deepwater port of Foynes in the Shannon Estuary, in which it owns a 50% share.

The terminal imports cargoes and supplies a wide range of products to distributors and end-users. “This investment confirmed our long-term commitment to the Shannon Estuary region and reminded us that Inver’s roots lie in the Gaelic word for estuary,” said Chris. “Irish customers have been pleased with our competitive pricing, reliability of supply and traceability of product at the terminal.”

Entering and developing the UK market

On purchasing Chevron Texaco’s fuel and marine oil terminal in Cardiff as a going concern in 2006, Inver made its entrance into the UK market. Experienced and well-regarded in the industry, Tony Wilson was appointed to run the UK business. Tony quickly expanded the inland fuel oil business and the company’s marine fuel supply presence.

A partnership with Mabanaft was set up in 2008, enabling Mabanaft to expand its UK presence. In a £3 million capital investment, storage capacity was converted from heavy fuel oil to gasoil, diesel and kerosene, providing South Wales and the south west with a much needed supply option. The availability of these products from Mabanaft also allowed Inver to grow its UK sales beyond fuel oil.

In 2010, Inver embarked on its most ambitious expansion to date. A partnership with Greenergy saw further conversion of fuel oil storage to diesel, and the construction of a new petrol tank and rail importing facilities in a £7 million capital investment. In a long-term multi-year agreement, Greenergy took over this diesel and petrol storage in late 2011, providing much needed additional supply options for petrol and diesel to the region’s forecourts.

In preparation for changes to marine fuel specifications in 2015, 8,000m3 of fuel oil storage was converted to marine gasoil storage last year. Inver imported the first marine gasoil cargo in October 2012 providing the region with its only dedicated supply.

Interesting opportunities and challenges

1 Cardiff terminal

Strategically important to the South Wales and south west region, the Cardiff terminal has seen £10 million invested since 2006

In September, the company’s 5-year storage deal with Mabanaft expires, opening up 31,000m3 of diesel, gasoil and kerosene capacity at the Cardiff terminal. Strategically important to the South Wales and south west region, the storage provides an opportunity for new entrants and security of supply for kerosene and gasoil.

“There’s significant interest from independent importers and suppliers to take over the tanks and supply the market,” said Chris. “However, the option to use the tanks ourselves is also being considered. Being a natural extension to Inver’s Irish business model – we can bring our substantial experience in supply, risk management and pricing options to provide a reliable and competitive supply of product with a fresh approach.” www.inverenergy.com

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