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Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he expects the Buncefield oil depot to re-open; and if he will make a statement. (164564)

It is not yet known when the Buncefield oil terminal complex will reopen.

The Buncefield complex is of strategic importance for the supply of jet fuel to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. I understand that Dacorum borough council (DBC) are currently in discussion with the oil companies, concerning a proposal to commence jet fuel storage and supply only at this stage. The oil companies propose to delay recommencement of petrol and diesel storage and distribution until the findings of the Major Incident Investigation Board and the recommendations of the Buncefield Standards Task Group on standards and best practice have been fully considered and further discussions held with DBC and other stakeholders.

A number of planning applications have been submitted to DBC and St. Albans district council by the oil companies and their agencies having facilities within the complex. These cover works required to repair and improve the sites to new safety and environmental standards. The determination of these applications is a matter for the councils concerned.