‘Price tag for fuel security could be hundreds of millions’

GUERNSEY faces a bill that could run into ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’ to protect its long term fuel needs.

Ship's 2015
Picture by Tony Rive

The project is not earmarked to go ahead in the next four years, but £830,000 has been budgeted for external consultants researching it.

‘The programme of work is large and extremely complex,’ said States’ Trading Assets deputy managing director Richard Evans, while answering questions about the size and timing of the consultants’ bill.

‘The States has engaged specialist consultants who have experience in both the potential engineering and technical requirements, and economic and financial fields. The States does not have this level of expertise internally and sought it from external consultants.

‘While £830,000 is a large amount of money, the eventual price tag for the security of supply could run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

‘It is important that the States is given sufficiently accurate and evidence-based information on which the decisions can be made.

‘That said, no decisions have yet been made on any single option.

‘As with most large programmes, a significant amount of work is required to explore the options and build the business cases for the chosen solution and it is expected that this programme will take time to develop and will need to ensure that the options considered by the States are still valid at all stages of the process.’

Comments for: "‘Price tag for fuel security could be hundreds of millions’"

Common sense

More spin, release the figure of hundreds of millions so the public won't choke on the consultants price tag.

Who gave the states the advice that this figure for consultants was acceptable KPMG who believe £15,000,000 for a bond set up fee is not excessive.

Moving ahead is this price going to be added to the fuel levy or are the deputies going to earn their salaries and plan ahead and cost cut within the states, use the reserve and vote against multi million puns projects e.g. Education £120,000,000 runway £90,000,000.

Common sense

Million pound projects


Don't forget the total wastage on BB's multi-million Pound refuse non-policy. £33,000,000 binged so far with a lot, lot more to follow. We are now being told that it could all go pear shaped, even before Brexit-time, but still they continue to throw away millions after millions without a second thought!

guern abroad

Those options ought to include a fueling pod point in the Little Russel which had been discussed before on Your Shout.

I wouldn't be surprised if this option was not included as it is not big and shinny enough.


Mr Evans of the Waste Strategy implementation....you don't give me a lot of confidence with this one!


All that is needed is a long pipeline and a connecting point outside St.Sampson's harbour


Agreed ..... Deputy Neil . Get this sorted and save us a fortune, a pipeline is the best option.


It's worth Deputy Paint being involved in some way. He has a number of options worth exploring.

One of them being exactly that, an offshore gantry. Used for discharge all over the world.

guern abroad

That's the sensible option that we can afford, but I don't expect it is grand, shinny and gold plated for those who will dictate what options are investigated at some 800,000 cost for the report alone. Those fueling pods looked clever, ideal and proven for rough sea conditions, some ideal to ensure on the list of options.

Laurie Queripel

Lester raised this idea at the deputies presentation. Some of us are pushing for it to be investigated.

guern abroad

That's brilliant, thank you for listening when this last came up and the links were provided for more information on these delivery pods.

I hope this option is included.

Common sense

LQ keep up the good work and please look into the projected costs of the consultants.

100% Donkey

It'll never happen.

By then, this Island will be so far in the Sierra Hotel India Tango, spending sprees will be well and truly over.

£830,000 down the tubes when another alternative needs to be found.


Interesting that the states doesn't have the necessary expertise. I would strongly suggest they have too much expertise in management b.s. and accountancy and because of this neglect the need for actual doers, engineers, doctors, etc. The whole hierarchy is full of self important manager types who despise the real experts because they have no understanding of anything other than balance sheets and self promotion.

Island Wide Voting

Plus one


If there is a need to "spend hundreds of millions" to safe guard Guernsey's fuel supply my first question would be why do we need to waste £830,000 on external, so called experts.

I believe we have two small tanker ships (one in the photo) which travels between the Mainland and Guernsey supplying us with the various fuels required.

In the future when the two present ships are coming towards their respective end of use, spend some of the £830,000 on having plans drawn up by a ship architect taking into account our specific requirements for replacement ships to be built which I'm sure would not cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

There are plenty of ship yards looking for work, some of the World's largest ships having been built in France.

guern abroad

It's something to do with regulations at some point will stipulate tankers can't dry out while dispersing cargo. St Sampsons harbour dries out and the tankers don't get long enough when there is water in the harbour to complete a cargo discharge, currently we can still get by doing this but it might have to change as to details of the ifs and whens I don't know if it's hot air maybe or probable.


Could they sail in, partly unload, sail out, wait out the tides, sail back in, continue unloading? Would be a pain but would that be a solution?


@ Cabbage.

It seems a solution but it's not as easy as it sounds.

Depending on the draft of the tanker, they don't stay afloat for very long once they come in at high tide. There are checks which need to be made before pumping commences. On certain tides and draft tolerances, these ships are aground before pumping commences. The increase in pilotage fees and commercial boatman, plus the harbour bottom needs to be inspected and re-levelled after prop wash. Costs soon start to spiral. A ship out at anchor waiting for the tide isn't earning money either.

On a separate note, I bet the SOG haven't bothered to make contact with at least four Master Mariners who are local and used to captain oil tankers. Locally, as is usual, there is a load of talent with contacts within the relative industry which probably hasn't been tapped into.

How does it go? 'A prophet is never recognised in his own town?'

Douglas White

Can anyone explain what the problem is? We manage it in Alderney without any monumental issues. I think we had to install some extra fire fighting equipment on the Commercial Quay and that was about it.

Island Wide Voting

I think the problem is that St Sampsons harbour dries out and the ships sit on the harbour bed for several hours and can't therefore be moved in the case of an emergency, whether that be on board or on nearby land

Makes you wonder if the discharging facilities could be upgraded so that these rather small ships can be completely discharged and moved out during a single high tide

Douglas White

Thank you. Now I can appreciate how it might be an expensive exercise though several hundred million appears shocking.

Devil's Advocate

As Saints said above, you'll never get a ship in, tied up, emptied and out in time.


For a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds I would think we could do away with most of our need for fuel by using renewable energy options instead. The States would undoubtedly opt for building huge wind turbines and other major works but the real answer would to be lots of small scale projects. Small windmills and solar panels on every roof/traffic light/roadside walls & hedges. We are a very windy island and small windmills are not too obtrusive or noisy and could even look very attractive in bright colours. Electricity generated excess to a households needs would be paid for by GE and the States could make loans for people to set up.

While our ships are still viable we should use grants to start people switching from oil central heating to electric and from petrol to electric vehicles so that by the time the ships are worn out our fuel needs will be greatly reduced and can be easily supplied in much smaller loads.

This is what I would call fuel security as we would no longer be dependent on a fossil fuel that fluctuates wildly in price and is inevitably going to run out at some point.

Douglas White

These islands are ideal for electric vehicles with 150 mile ranges.

Devil's Advocate

Agreed, the only need for liquid fossil fuels should be for vehicles, and that will decrease as EV technology improves. Every single commercial vehicle on the island should be electric.

Election Issues

"the only need for liquid fossil fuels should be for vehicles, and that will decrease as EV technology improves."


Hydrocarbon supply is vital to Gsy life. Even with a very aggressive approach to move away from hydrocarbons as a source of energy, Gsy will require a supply for the forseeable future to sustain Island life.

RUBIS and Channel Island Fuels Ltd import clean products - the lighter weight fuels such as kerosene (heating oil), petrol, diesel and aviation fuel.

Gsy Electricity imports heavy fuel oil, primarily to run the power station to generate electricity on island.

Gsy Gas (International Energy Group) imports Liquid Petroleum Gas.

Election Issues

How much will this cost over all this time?

830,000 pounds approved by the States to carry out work needed to come up with a long list of options and solutions and evaluate risks in current supply chain.

Further work and further funding will be needed to evaluate and select a preferred option and then complete an in-depth investigation into preferred solution.

Further funding will be required to develop business cases and to implement agreed solutions.

Apparently, by 2023 the benefits will be realised. Ridiculous!

John West

Am I missing something? Are we all suddenly using more fuel than these boats can carry?

Oh, and by way of an interesting note - we have ZERO need to buy those boats, the owners would have leased them and saved the Island money in the long run. This is fact.

Bloke A

Nope, it's opinion. Even if the owners were happy to lease the ships to us (and given they were in business to keep these ships at sea and in operation, there's no reason why they wouldn't be), and presuming they never got a better offer from anywhere, then it MIGHT have might have saved us money in the long term. However surely we can only know that some years from now, when it is clearer what income local ownership has received from leasing the vessels out ourselves, instead of leasing them from someone else. Unless you have a crystal ball, plus some detailed knowledge of the incomings and outgoings, I don't know how you can state your opinion is a fact.

On a separate note, I understood the primary purpose of the investment was not actually to save money.

Devil's Advocate

I think the fuel ships make money for us.

Common sense

Just a thought, is this situation going to be used to try and justify building a deep water berth I.E. A back door for subsidising improvements for cruise ships facilities

guern abroad

This is my fear too.

Bloke A

Why on earth would anyone do that?

Common sense

Very simple because we have some deputies of an incredibly low caliber like BB who make decisions and when their vanity project is rejected by the public they dress it up under another name and try and find another way of getting the funding from the states. Just look at the farcical waste strategy that has been accepted and now is already falling apart e.g no planning undertaken with the parishes, no cost reached as to the price of a bag.

Bloke A

We'll the first part of that comment is just plain silly. Not sure how the second part demonstrates your point so let's leave it there. Probably has as much grounding in reality as the first bit.

Common sense

Bloke A The amount of incredibly bad decisions taken by various deputies continually proves my point of how low the caliber of our representatives actually is. The last sitting earned the title worst states ever and those elected last year have just carried the legacy on. If you don't believe me just ask around, or read these threads full of islanders fed up with poor leadership.

We will have to disagree, the point I made is far from silly politician's use spin or deliberately put things in another light to obtain funding to push their projects through, that's politics.

One reason I used the waste strategy as an example was that it was continually reinvented over many years until a shoddy solution was found that that is already falling apart. The idea of a deep water birth will raise it's head again at some point in the near future in some guise or other.

Bloke A

Common Sense

Sorry, but I think what you consider "incredibly bad decisions" simply reinforces your opinion of the calibre of representatives. It doesn't prove any point, it is merely your perception - of the decisions and the calibre.

You should also be careful about using views expressed on this forum as necessarily an accurate reflection of public opinion. Our government undoubtedly has a credibility issue., but I don't think everyone in Guernsey is a fully paid up member of the Daily Mail outrage wing.

Getting back to the point. Your original suggestion that anyone is going to propose building a facility for £100 million or more as a smokescreen for something entirely different is, I am afraid to say, pure silliness. It is beyond ridicule, despite seeming to sit well on this forum.

Common sense

Bloke A it is very clear you have a blinkered view of this subject and describing views that don't perceive to yours as silly or beyond ridicule shows the lack of argument for your opinion or respect for that of others.

As for this forum, is is a window on the view of the public that is not hindered by the establishment and not controlled by the media so has a more honest base for all opinions regardless of political bias. The users should not be seen as non representative because the majority do not share your point of view, quite often these threads have mirrored the public as a whole that has resulted in a change of approach by the states the most obvious being Paid parking.

As for politicians using current situations to further their own agenda is common place.

Bloke A

Accusing me of having a blinkered view is ironic to say the least. I don't think I have expressed any particular opinion on any particular subject - merely stating that your general premise is preposterous. That's not a view, blinkered or otherwise, on this topic or any other. It is simply a comment on your general observation that everything States-related must have some obscure Machiavellian intent. So this very expensive project to ensure that the island has fuel - a basic for modern life - is actually something entirely different. Sorry, that is plain silly, wherever you choose to express it.

Common sense

Bloke A

I expressed a view that the situation can be exploited by those who want a deep water berth and still believe this is the case.

Whether it was your intention or not your comments do express several views including that of this situation and your opinion if the quality of the deputies.

We will never meet a concensus so will have to agree to disagree.

Donkey Boiler

BlokeA sounds a lot like BB, maybe he has a parrot that can type.

Bloke A

a) wrong. b) grow up.


DB - No No!! Bloke A is to intelligent, maybe LT

Bloke A

a) wrong b) thanks.


The current system seems to work. What happens if we "do nothing"?

As someone mentioned above, has anyone consulted the pilots? Pretty sure the crews or dock workers would have some useful input on the actual operations. Where do they drink? Could get some cheap consultancy right there!


I'd make a killing if I set up a company called 'UK consultant'. You have to wonder how we got this far without all the help from the UK - almost incredible really how I manage to even tie my shoe laces in the morning without help


Any feedback from the Deputies/ stakeholder presentations referred to in the Print article Neil?


So that's why you always wear slip-on shoes :)

Y Burford

But Neil, you are happy to vote next week in favour of spending circa £100,000 on off-island consultants to buy yet another report about lengthening the runway when (a) we already have reports telling us that it is not needed and (b) the pro-runway lobby have not been able to provide a shred of evidence to support their case.


NEil you're admitting it's a shambles? If you can't do anything about it as an elected representative what hope for the rest of us?

Island Wide Voting

Neil CAN do something about it

It is now the middle of 2017 and he or someone else not yet gone completely native could expect an accurate non b/s answer from Uncle Gavin about the total amount spent on consultants during 2016.It won't get the taxpayers money back but it might hopefully put a brake on at least some of the future profligacy

Probably too late for such a question at the end of June Assembly and, as our stressed out leaders are taking July and August off, it should give Uncle Gavin ample time to get the figures from the Department Presidents for the 6th September Assembly

That's what Question Time is for


There is a very strong smell of a hidden agenda here.

I suspect that in quoting estimated costs of several hundreds of millions of £'s for something which in reality is nothing more than "Sweet Fanny Adams" is simply part of a devious "softening-up of the public exercise".

Mark my words, the States will soon be coming up with some other grandiose waste of money, just like it has done with refuse disposal. But because the cost of this mystery project will be less than around half a billion, we will all be told that vast savings have been made!

Not unlike the utter fiasco of rubbish disposal. I do not accept that projected refuse charges of £1,000-£1,500 per annum can ever be justified. The lunatics are still running the asylum!



It's high time that BB & Environment came clean with their latest estimated charges per bag for the proposed fortnightly collections. I fail to understand why after so many £millions have already been frittered away, everything is still being kept secret. Well actually, I do understand why we are not being told the truth, it's because there isn't any! We should not have to rely on snippets leaked out by genuinely concerned civil servants, who are risking their jobs by blowing the whistle. Wish they would blow a bit harder though!

I hope that the cost of clearing up the expected mases of fly-tipped refuse will not be loaded onto the parishes and because we will then be paying twice for E&I's ineptitude. Get weaving now on a modern WTE plant now while we still can. The door to export of refuse will probably be shut, in the next 5-7 years and then we will have spent millions for a pile of useless concrete. Nothing changes!

Island Wide Voting

Word at The Mariners is that if the new Swedish tax is going to be put on our exports the price of a black sack will have to be £11


IWV, £11 was the starting price before the Swedish tax arose. The last figure I heard was £12.75 per bag, for fortnightly collections, but that was to be the baseline cost as the department wanted to draw in extra money so that it could claim to be making "savings" (at our expense!). The Swedish tax will be additional, so who knows what the final amount will be which we be expected to cough up per bag?

I don't think that the public will accept these charges and that there will be universal opposition to Environment's plans to bleed everyone dry.

Enough is Enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Common sense

At £11 per bag I think there will be protests on a larger scale than for paid parking as this will hit the pocket of every household. I have already decided that any deputy who voted for the waste strategy will not get my vote at the next election.

Island Wide Voting

You'll have to do your own research because it certainly won't appear in anyone's manifesto

Looks like we might have to employ some of our tax avoidance expertise on this new(ish) Swed(ish) inconvenience

Mr Parkinson appears to be doing a Mrs May and hiding behind his rather beleaguered CS manager.Is it too late to string a few words together for public consumption before he goes off on his two month sojourn?

Common sense

Hansard will list those who voted and perhaps I might even arrange to have someone outside every polling station with a board with the deputies names in large letters on it or take out a space in the press to remind them.

Even an increase of £7 per week is unacceptable the average family can not afford that sudden increase in the cost of living.

Island Wide Voting

Hopefully Hansard will provide such a list (I haven't checked) but why should the term 'hopefully' be used in that sentence?

In 2017 isn't it about time that a few bob ( in comparison to the 830K plus Baz is currently gifting consultants) is invested in push button recorded votes so that the electorate are no longer treated like mushrooms via a 17th Century based Pour / Contre shout on important matters?

Keep up the good work Lester Q in demanding recorded votes.Eventually the Luddites in the Assembly will get fed up