The large fire had to be managed over a number of days and required firefighters to work collaboratively with port engineers and other advisors to monitor the scene and to minimise the impact the incident had on the grain site.
Commenting at the award presentation ECFRS Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Moira Bruin said: “This was one of the most challenging incidents our Service had faced in recent years. Resolving this incident successfully only happened because of the great partnership work, and despite being under pressure, we worked together to find innovative solutions. We wanted to recognise the support, ingenuity, bravery and open engagement of the grain terminal management and staff and were delighted to present them with this award and invite them to part of our own celebration event.”
The fire damaged the silo tower and some other equipment but no one was injured.
Major building works are well underway with construction of ten new giant metal grain silos now complete. The ten 30 metres tall silos have a total combined capacity of 20,000 metric tonnes. Work is now underway to replace the concrete silos for a return to full operations in 2023, restoring the original storage capacity.
Peter Ward, Commercial Director at The Port of Tilbury said: “We are honoured to receive this award which recognises the collaborative role the team at the port played during this major incident at the grain terminal.
“I am proud of how the team handled this situation as they worked closely with the Fire and Rescue Service during this difficult and challenging period. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank not only the grain terminal team, but Essex County Fire and Rescue Service for its professional response and commitment both during and after the fire.
“The terminal is a vital facility in the South-East of England and an essential part of the UK agricultural supply chain for imports and exports and we made sure that there was no interruption to our service throughout.”
The Tilbury Grain terminal has been in operation for over 50 years and is a key strategic facility in the South-East of the UK for the grain import and export markets handling over 2million tonnes of product from around the world. Grain is a key commodity in the UK food supply chain for a number of uses, most notably within the flour milling and bakery industries.
Once fully rebuilt, the terminal will be restored to its full storage capacity of 135,000 m/t and continue to benefit from the full multimodal services at the port including river barge transportation into central London. The terminal also operates a monthly coastal shipping service from Tilbury to its sister port in Kirkcaldy, Scotland for Carr’s Milling.