The Terminal at Hamble-le-Rice is an important outpost of one of the largest oil corporations in the world – BP.
It is currently owned and managed by BP Oil UK Ltd and is one of 14 such terminals the company operates in the UK. It covers an area of 53 acres on the banks of Southampton Water.
The Terminal’s basic job is quite simple. It takes products from refineries (e.g. petrol, diesel, aircraft fuel), stores them and sends them out to customers (e.g. petrol stations, domestic premises and aircraft companies) when required.
These products arrive at the Terminal by pipeline and by ship. They go out by pipeline and road tanker. They could also go out by rail but this link has not been used for some years although it could be revived.
Hamble Terminal’s Marine Department has been responsible for the export of the entire output from the field, the value of which is about £700 million a year. The oil is exported in large crude oil carriers which at present dock about once every 10 days.
During the last ten years oil exports from Hamble have been carried out with complete safety and with no harm to the environment – a record of which the Terminal is extremely proud.
The major side of the Terminal’s operations is road tanker deliveries. These take place on a round the clock basis with petrol and other products being supplied to petrol stations, industrial, commercial and domestic customers across a wide swathe of southern England. While the crude oil flows quietly and unseen, petrol deliveries are the high profile aspect of the Terminal’s presence in the locality.
Daily BP deliveries from Hamble equate to about 100,000 car fill-ups and the busiest petrol stations and motorway service areas receive 3-4 tanker loads a day from Hamble.
The tankers themselves are modem hi-tech vehicles each costing about £120,000 with onboard computers, telephones and ultra low emission engines. The drivers themselves are among the best trained HGV drivers in the world.
Over the years the village of Hamble has gradually expanded around the Terminal to a point where the installation is now at the centre of the community. With this in mind Terminal management takes its responsibilities to the local community very seriously and it goes out of its way not only to involve itself with events and support for local organisations, but also to liaise in advance whenever its operations are likely to affect its neighbours.