Cookstown's LCC group buys Belfast Lough oil terminal

Cookstown-based energy firm LCC Group has now added Cloghan Point Oil Terminal to its ever-expanding portfolio.

Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 10:55 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:07 am
Michael and Daniel Loughran, directors of LCC Group, at newly purchased Cloghan Point Oil Terminal

The news comes less than six months after the group bought out its Norweigan partners in a state-of-the-art oil terminal in Maydown, Co Londonderry.

Now, in a multi million pound deal with AES Power, it has taken ownership of a further terminal in Belfast which the company says could lead to energy cost savings for businesses and consumers in the future.

LCC Group is an independent family owned company established in 1980 which provides a range of services spanning various energy sectors.

Cloghan Point Oil Terminal

Initially set up to provide domestic coal to homes in Northern Ireland, the Group now supplies coal, oil, electricity, natural gas and logistical freight services to homes across the UK and industry all over the world. LCC, which owns the Go chain of petrol stations, is the fastest growing electricity and natural gas supplier in Ireland and is one of Europe’s largest coal importers and processors.

Cloghan Point Oil Terminal is located on the shores of Belfast Lough near Carrickfergus.

Originally opened in the 1980s by Northern Ireland Electricity to supply Kilroot and Ballylumford Power Stations, the facility was later refurbished by AES in 2011.

The new facility has a jetty which stretches 1,225 metres into Belfast Lough to a point in with a depth of 17 metres water draft. LCC plans to invest £15m to enhance the facility, after which it will be the only commercial terminal in Ireland able to facilitate the docking of 120,000 tonne tankers.

Cloghan Point Oil Terminal

Currently most tankers docking in Irish ports are no larger than 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes in capacity due to shallower draft restrictions.

Daniel Loughran, director at LCC Group, said this will open up opportunities to break bulk in order to supply businesses and consumers across the island of Ireland and west coast UK.

"This is an exciting acquisition for LCC Group as we add to our growing portfolio of energy infrastructure assets. We were attracted to Cloghan Point because of its sheer scale in both storage capacity and, with a 17 metre draft of water, we will soon be able to bring in larger tankers from around the world, including the US, the Middle East and South America.

"This hasn’t been possible to date, so the local market has been limited in where it can source oil. Traditionally, tankers supplying this part of the world come from UK refineries, ARA and the Nordics and we have been restricted in the volume transported at any one time as a result of shallow water restrictions."

Mr Loughran added: "Being able to dock vessels of this size will bring significant benefits to consumers and industry in the long run, as the increase in supply logistics and efficiencies should lead to a reduction in price that can be passed on to the end user."

LCC is currently working with Taggart Design & Project Design Engineers to develop plans for the improved infrastructure of the terminal.

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