Belle Greve deep-water berth 'good for the fuel industry'

A NEW deep-water berth off Belle Greve would have a positive impact on the fuel industry, utilities and a distributor have said.

A NEW deep-water berth off Belle Greve would have a positive impact on the fuel industry, utilities and a distributor have said.

Guernsey Gas, Guernsey Electricity and Rubis all backed the proposal, announced on Wednesday by Public Services in its ports master plan.

The department suggested the infrastructure – running south from Longue Hougue for cargo and fuel at a cost of between £71m. and £143m. – would benefit future fuel imports.

At present, fuel imports arrive at St Sampson’s Harbour but Public Services said the facility severely restricts the type of vessels that can be used because of its shallow depth and tidal range – boats have to be designed to sit on the seabed while discharging.

Comments for: "Belle Greve deep-water berth 'good for the fuel industry'"


Forget the fuel industry, listen to the RSPB; it's far more favourable to enjoy prosperity in a spiritual sense and know the environmental well being is safeguarded, rather than to abuse resources to generate lucrative commercial enterprises and live in opulence as the latter, the positive impact upon one's material well being notwithstanding, has potentially dire future consequences.

What about the ecology- such marine creatures serve the indispensable purpose of regulating the dynamic equilibrium of food chains and bio geochemical cycles on a local and to a slight degree, international level.

pb falla

Bring it on, fill the bay in and get some housing and a casino there

Nuff said

Island Wide Voting

Guernsey Gas, Guernsey Electricity and Rubis all backed this taxpayer funded 71-143M fantasy

A story on a par with dog bites man ?


What an absolutely ridiculous idea this is... Surely the expenditure heavily out weighs the possible income. If the cruise goers want to get off the ship and stooge around the island do nothing, because as we all know. there is little or nothing that Guernsey has to offer apart from it looking nice, then they will get the shuttle. At least £71m cannot be clawed back just by giving 1 cruise ship a place to berth!! The states must have rocks in their heads, they go on about having a huge financial black hole, they plead poverty and then they come up with this rubbish!! Spending the money that they havent got on this massive white elephant!! If they want to do something positive for the island then they should take the sea defences from Bulwer ave to the Salerie out another 50 yards, 2 lanes in both directions and solve the traffic problems for good. IDIOTS


ooooer! That's a bit rich stating that the 'states must have rocks in their heads' when you haven't even been able to read the article and understand what it's saying. There is no suggestion that this quay would be for cruise liners..... it's for the fuel ships. Whether we need a quay for fuel ships...... well that's another question.

The suggested cruise liner berth is something else and will not, thank goodness, happen. As you suggest it would be too expensive and for little or no return.

to the vale

ok Ed whats your plan for unloading the fuel ships when they can no longer use st sampsons harbour mr frome might be against it but this island needs to move forward not back perhaps both of you can come up with a better idea


if Guernsey 'needs to move forward not back', maybe we should be planning to go fossil fuel free??

Island Wide voting

Bring on the Dilithium Crystals


It's a worthy aim Rosie but how do you get an Aga owner for example to remove it from their farmhouse? Presumably one otherwise has use biofuels which are grown from crops...


Jonno. Aga's can be run on electricity.


Thank you, Rosie- my belief exactly.


Alderney Renewable Energy is developing over 3 Gigawatts of tidal power 55 miles from the south coast of Britain and 8 miles from France. Generation could begin in 2014, with full scale deployment of a 300 Megawatt project reaching completion within the following 5 years.

When fully developed, the potential annual energy output will be 6 Terawatt hours, which equates to the annual demand of 1.8 million homes.

Why not do a cable to Alderney forget about the fuel berth and everyone use electric cars..

Louis Borvolt

As the fuel ships also bring in Kerosene, you would have to convert all those homes that use oil for home heating to another source.


Divide 147 million by the number of homes that use kerosene, you could pay for all of them. You could just build a replacement ship. If a place cannot afford the expense of doing a berth then carry on with what happens now, Guernsey is only the size of a UK town if cannot afford facilities of a region in the UK so be it. When Alderney will have a project like this up and running in the not too distant a future maybe things will change.

donkey's Wotsits

Belle Greve is locally unique, being our only significant bay on the east coast. It provides a sheltered ecosystem from the prevailing winds and is part of an important complex of local sites used by many birds and other wildlife.

The area supports an assemblage of marine organisms unlike that found either on the French or English coasts and its conservation importance is comparable with our single Ramsar site on the west coast.

And as for that ridiculous viewpoint that it is somehow ugly at low tide, it looks not that dissimilar to L'Eree when the tide is out with an extensive species-rich foreshore and numerous habitats.

Filling in even a proportion of it would be a significant blow to the local environment.


Of course they would say that. It's like asking Willy Wonka if he thinks kids should eat more chocolate!

Perhaps the fuel industry and utilities should help fund the project as they will profit most from it but either way the cost will be added on as a tax in some form. With the outside cost projection of £143m that's £2300 for every man, woman and child on the island.

It must surely be cheaper to customise the ships or look at an undersea pipeline, it's been done elsewhere. They have them all over the northsea and cost is around $1 million per mile. It would be easier if run a short distance to Jersey. We send our waste to Jersey, and they pipe the oil which they will first bring in by ship.

Time for an oil consultant...


With concern to renewable energy, I was thinking along the lines of biogas . I think that the fields adjacent to Oatlands need to be utilised for growing climate-tolerant crops and that the Spiegel tent needs to be demolished and replaced with an irrigation facility. The water required would be acquired like this:

1. Sell all the fish from Bishes' Fishes to households and local education centres in bags or containers of water- not from the fish tank.

2. Have all the water from the aquariums purified to make it suitable for irrigation.

3. Construct mini reservoirs these three situations: where the Spiegel tent is situated, in one of the fields and where the greenhouses are currently located Then,use the purified water that was formerly in the aquariums and water from the Oatlands' tap to fill the giant container.

4. Use the water to irrigate the crops.

A slight change with relation to the first idea may be to have Bishes' Fishes relocate and take all their aquatic creatures in containers, though the water

must NOT be from the aquariums.



I have to say, that was one of your very best contributions. Best? Because you have finally proved what I have always suspected, that you are in fact an impractical young man with no link to reality who happened to swallow a Dictionary at an early age. What a ridiculous string of ideas.



I will admit that using purified fish tank water is a ludicrous idea, but I still I think the idea of biogas ought to be contemplated. The fields adjacent to Oatlands would be a good site.

Nevertheless, experimentation with ideas has been a key trait of history and, on quite a few occasions, has been responsible for either incremental or radical change to civilisation.

vic gamble

..Realist...Ed did not swallow the dictionary...the dictionary swallowed him and the burps can be heard all over the land.


If it`s that good for the fuel industry then let them pay for the instillation of this quay, we all know what will happen, all the installation will be paid for by the tax payer and the fuel companies will find a way to put up the prices of our fuels.

If you`re that keen for new facilities then cough up.

I`ve seen Islands around the world that have off shore moorings with an off loading pipeline to the shore, a lot cheaper than building special quays. How do you think places like St Helena and the Pitcairn Islands land their supplies when they haven`t even got a harbour?



I concur strongly. Though I think that we may be far better off spiritually and have a healthier environment if we were to live as they do on those remote islands- no exploitable resources, no amoral avidity for financial or material gain. Primitive, simple lifestyles are the most advantageous.

Oh Dear

But Ed if we lead primitive lifestyles where would you go for your daily dose of nonsense spouting?

Re: your Oatlands comments. The most ludicrous, naive and weird comment I've ever read on TIG. Which says a lot.


Oh Dear

At least I acknowledged what I said was ludicrous, butbdon't you think that the biogas idea (disregard using purified fish tank water) has some degree of rationality ? I change it from primitive to simple lifestyles as, that way, we can still have flushing toilets.

Oh Dear

Ed whilst I agree that we would be happier as a populace with a more simple lifestyle many view this as a step back. How simple would it be? Would jobs, electricity and cars still be available under your ideology?

Many people can't live without these basic commodities that during the passage of time have become necessities.

I think your idea is daft with or without purified fish tank water. Why would we need to go to this effort for irrigation? It rains quite a lot on this island. If irrigation were truly necessary that can be set up in the field in which you have the crops.

As for asking a company to shut itself down for your idea. Daft. You clearly don't like Oatlands very much.


Oh Dear

What about biogas crops in the fields adjacent to Oatlands- forget about any kind of irrigation.

Oh Dear

The problem with Biogas Crops is that the buildings used look hideous. It would be better to put this out of the way. Also what happens if the plant were to fail? A compressed unit that contains methane doesn't sound very safe.

It's a nice idea. I just think the location you've chosen would be wrong. There are lots of fields. You've only chosen Oatlands because you don't like their tent.


Oh Dear

Is it possible then to create a biogas site in a more secluded location in Guernsey ? Are there fields out in the parishes of Torteval or St Pierre DuBois that are not currently being used and are at a safe distance from human property ?

Island Wide Voting


Not sure they'd be ready for biogas in the outer reaches. They've only recently cottoned on to bottled gas according to my cousin


We need to live in the real world: a zero fossil fuel economy is not possible in Guersney, as it would require people to stop heating their houses and stop driving. I am all in favour of developing tidal/wind/wave/solar energy, but none of these will keep homes warm and cars on the road unless we all make big sacrifices (that includes NIMBYs).

As for the deep water berth, this is a red herring. the reason why the private companies are in favour is that the States currently own the "flat-bottomed" tankers that can offload at low tide sitting on the sea bed (their own little monopoly).

Commercial tankers are no longer built like that and need that deep water berth. For the cost of the project, the States would be better off designing and building new flat bottomed tankers and that would maintain the island fuel security for the time being, while we can actually have an energy strategy that is not only a big cable from France, a few more tankers and fossil fuel burning generators.



I agree with your comment that the deep water berth is a red herring, and that we would struggle to be a totally 'zero fossil fuel economy' simply because of the aeroplanes and boats. But I do not understand your comment that a zero fossil fuel economy would not be possible because it would require people to stop heating their houses and to stop driving. What? Why can't houses be insulated and then heated by electricity? And why couldn't we elect to move all our vehicles to eventually become electric?



All houses could be heated with electricity and heat source pumps and all sorts or pellets but how do you propose to convince someone with a Guernsey cottage/ farmhouse using oil heating for their radiators to change their entire heating system at their cost? We should do like the UK ( I don't normally say that!) and have EPC energy performance certificates. When you sell your house you must have an EPC , it is graded A-G, A being the most efficient. In Scotland, you have to display this certificate next to the meter. It's not foolproof but it's better than nothing. I bet there are plenty of drafty old cottages all over the place so your suggestion to insulate is definately worthwhile along with other measures. The other way is go round with an infrared camera and find the most poorly energy efficient house and put it on the web or sell the data, that might get a homeowners to think about the consequences of using heating oil and save them some bucks too.


Ernie. You ask... 'how do you convince someone using oil heating to change their entire heating system at their cost? ' I would say they probably can't afford not to! The cost of oil is only going to go one way.... up!

Replacing an oil fired water & heating system with an air source heat pump and solar PV's will reduce yearly energy costs by approx 80%. The average pay-back time is between 6 & 9 years.

Prior to doing any of that tho' should be insulation, insulation and then some more insulation. By far the cheapest and most effective way to reduce energy bills.

I agree with all your suggestions.


We could go on about this until the cows come home!

It is simply not possible to make cars, houses and most moder commodities without fossil fuels. Where do you think the electricity comes from? Where do you think the plastic around power cables comes from? Where do you think the paint in your house comes from? Short of living in cold huts, living off the land with stone tools, we do not have a technology to be fossil fuel free.

Most technologies (nuclear power stations, wind turbines, wave and tidal generator) require fossil fuels to be built (think plastic and paints as above).

Now, as a policy objective, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and explore alternatives is a very good idea, but eliminating entirely is not within our reach. Our ancestors managed, over 4000 years ago, but they didn't exactly have iPhones and cars!


Binou. I am the first to say that we are horribly dependent on fossil fuels in our modern lives but that is not an argument for ignoring the moves we can make today to reduce that dependence. Heating our homes and running our cars as mentioned in your first post, are two examples where we could significantly reduce our energy needs and then use renewable energy sources.

We are not ( as far as I am aware) in the business of manufacturing cars, power cables and paint. It is up to the jurisdictions that do to decide how they generate their energy and the materials they use. I gather that Germany, who do make these things, have progressive plans to be 50% dependent on renewable energy by 2020 and 100% by 2050. The future is not in furthering our ability to continue using fossil fuels, which are only going to get more expensive, but in looking at how we can improve our self sufficiency in energy needs, thus also reducing our vulnerability to outside influences.

Iron Knee

There seems to be much mention of building new boats to the same spec. but I believe the issue is not about boats and replacing them, it is more about adhering to new health and safety rules that will no longer permit vessels to discharge fuel within a given distance of human habitation. It may however still be cheaper to rehouse the whole of St Sampsons eh!


Boats? Boats? It's not the Serpentine dear chap, it's the sea! I think you mean 'ships'.


Get a Chinese ship yard to copy our existing ships. I'm sure this would be cheaper. Why does everything the States own never have much of a life span, is it down to poor maintenance?


Sorry but what are they going to do if Guernsey says it can't afford 147 million for a berth. If the UK comes out of Europe then will we have to follow these health and safety rules. The airport had to be done to come up to new rules. Other islands cope as said earlier without a harbour. Ships don't last 10 years, Condor run their ships for 18 hours a day everyday and they are well past 10. The ships Guernsey has don't have a hard life, isn't one in dry dock because of demand.


How do the States of Guernsey ever hope to regain the trust and respect of those that vote them in when they display such ambiguous behaviour. They seem to forget that in today's world every decision and statement they make is open to intense scrutiny. First of all in this economic climate they award themselves pay rises, making sure this happens before announcing the financial black hole in our finances. Then they play the now obligatory environmentally friendly green card and make statements about looking into the possibility of wind and tidal power options while in the next breath announcing that they are looking into the possibility of spending obscene amounts of money on a deep water quay to bring in fuel!!!!!! Everyone around the world is looking into alternative sources of power and we as islands are surrounded by one of the greatest assets that nature can provide us with that of tidal power. By all means buy some time by repairing the ships to extend their life, if the Chinese can build another Titanic I'm sure they can find a solution to repair these ships and in the meantime invite these companies who are at the forefront of developing tidal power to the island and give them incentives to set up here so that we can begin to harness the power of the sea that surrounds us.


At the end of the day it is the fuel companies who stand to profit from the building of this quay or the purchase of new ships so it is only fair that they contribute to their cost. It should not fall solely to the tax payer to fund this project.


Construct a 'Barrage' similar to the one at La Rance in France from the Vale Castle east towards Herm, and at the same time install wind generators along the top of the'Barrage'

This idea (in part) can be seen on the huge western outer breakwater in Bilbao, northern Spain.

we will then have the best of both worlds with the added advantage of these systems having already been tried and tested,


Or just stick with what we have. It's worked for the many years and poses no more of a health and safety risk then the tanks on bulwer avenue. Our states need to grow a pair.

Our Guernsey states forget that we are in the biggest financial crisis since the 30's, mind you it's always easy to forget when it's someone else's money!


Public Services

Put you proposals on HOLD.Look into other forms of natural energy closer to home.

Solar heating,wind power,tidal power,Electric vehicles,

What is needed is a rig outside as an emptying port for fuel to be discharged under all tidal conditions high/low tides.Tankers alongside rig emptying.

The biggest concern should be the safety of businesses surrounding the fuel depots at Bulwer Avenue


71 - 143 mill, just for this bit.

I asked it before and shall again, how in the hell are we supposed to pay for this grand scheme?

We've got global recession, the shrinkage of the finance industry and god knows what else coming at us over the next ten years, with little more to assist us in developing plan b to the plan a, which has been finance finance and finance for the past 30 years, other than St Kev telling us we need to be innovative and enterprising, being a clear indication, imo, that despite access to various resources and the ability to bring in an expensive raft of imported experts to tell us which way us up, he has no plan b, so expects us to somehow pull one out of our collective *sses and one of the hugest projects that this islands seen in many a year, i.e.. the airport, being far from over, thus, we can safely assume, neither is the spending on the aforementioned....

and now this, a scheme, that I am sure, for those who presented it, looks mighty fine on paper, but which will cost squillions that we haven't bl**dy well got.

There's a lot of amazing things we could all do that would benefit us personally, the island, and nay, the planet, but most reasonable human beings appreciate that much of that activity takes large amounts of cash, and that the lack of it is therefore a bit of a sticking point.....

of course, we, unlike our establishment, don't have access to a very substantial amount of everyone else's money.