Facilities management provider 14forty, which is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has recently provided support for Essar’s Stanlow oil refinery during its vital shutdown event.

Located in Ellesmere Port, on the south side of the Mersey Estuary, the oil refinery covers a land area equivalent to 300 football pitches and produces 16 per cent of the UK’s road transport fuel, operated by 1,500 engineers and support staff around the clock.

The shutdown project, a statutory requirement that occurs every four years and is critical to the plant’s safety and ongoing operation, was conducted across October and November 2022. During the shutdown period all production on-site ceased, to give room for various teams of contractors to carry out inspections, perform overhauls on essential equipment, install new components, and ensure optimal safety prior to the next operational cycle.

As part of this operation, additional support was provided by 14forty for the refinery’s maintenance programme, covering industrial labouring, a major additional catering operation for the increased volume of engineers and workforce across site, as well as industrial cleaning. The latter encompassed entering confined areas such as vessels and tanks, procuring respirators for engineers, and water-jetting components prior to examination.

Mauro Ortelli, Managing Director at 14forty, said:

“We were thrilled to be able to support Essar in its shutdown project, which was the first time we have been involved in the works on the industrial side. Supporting a project of this nature meant a huge focus on the health and safety aspects and therefore offering additional training, briefings and equipment to our teams.

“I am pleased to say we did an excellent job – Essar was able to complete the programme and have the refinery, which is a vital part of the UK’s energy infrastructure, back up and running as scheduled. Thank you to all of our colleagues who went above and beyond to deliver this complex job.”

Since 2014, 14forty has been providing facilities management services such as cleaning, catering from its two on-site restaurants; industrial support; and industrial cleaning to Essar, and due to high standards of delivery, this agreement has recently been extended.

Along with providing a dedicated HSE resource to facilitate front-end planning and allocation of required safety resources, 14forty’s effective HSE management system added greater confidence to the health and safety of all employees.

Over the last three-year period, the team have worked over one million hours without any lost time injuries – the result of extensive and diligent work. The continuous reporting and supply of information are important to 14forty’s efforts to be proactive and prevent workplace accidents, exhibiting the safety culture present on-site.

To cope with the pressure of 2,000 additional workers, 14forty had to enlist the help of over 100 extra personnel in its regular cleaning and catering teams. This ensured that facilities such as offices and bathrooms remained in top condition and the restaurants had enough staff to accommodate the sudden influx of customers.

In response, 14forty erected a large temporary Food Village on-site with several points of service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – with customers able to be in and out of the facility with their food in less than a minute. A delicious selection of options was available, from traditional meals to healthy, plant-based alternatives – keeping workers fuelled, happy and productive.

Jane Jones, Head of Procurement and Supply Chain Management at Essar Oil (UK) added:

“The hard work and efforts from all of the 14forty team and its sub-contractors has been outstanding. The continuous and relentless demands from me and the Essar team were constantly met with high energy, solution-driven responses, and determination, no matter how big or small.

“We have received feedback from the contractor workforce, which is to say that this was the best facilities and catering provision they have ever had. I am exceptionally proud to say that 14forty forms part of the wider Stanlow team and cannot thank its people enough for everything that they have done.”