High-tech liquid fertiliser terminal offers improved productivity and sustainability for northern growers

Written by John Swire from Farm Business

A new purpose-built liquid fertiliser terminal has opened for business at the Port of Sunderland, offering farmers from north Lincolnshire to southern Scotland technically advanced, high-grade products that will help improve crop productivity while reducing their environmental footprint.

The new multi-million-pound facility, Nitrasol Terminal North, is the result of four years of planning and development by Great Yarmouth-based independent producer Brineflow, manufacturer of Nitrasol clear liquid fertilisers.

On-farm tanks
On-farm tanks


The site will play a key role in Brineflow’s plans to expand its share of the UK liquid fertiliser sector. Much of the area it will supply has been relatively poorly served due to the distance from existing port-side terminals.

Rob Buck, Brineflow’s commercial manager, said: “Sunderland was chosen as an excellent strategic fit for the business, enabling us to service new customers across some major arable areas of the UK, helping them to become more productive as well as more environmentally friendly.

“Over the past decade, the UK market has seen a steady and sustained shift from solid nitrogen and nitrogen sulphur fertilisers to liquid fertiliser. This is set to continue as more farmers become aware of the efficiency, agronomic and environmental benefits a liquid system has to offer.

“Farmers are realising that top-grade liquid products enable them to control applications more precisely and with less equipment.”

Advanced products

The new site will offer growers a range of technically advanced products formulated on site from highly concentrated raw materials that are manufactured domestically and globally for this purpose.

The standard Nitrasol range meets most on-farm requirements, but Brineflow can also batch-blend prescription grades to suit customers’ exact needs whatever crop they grow.

“Brineflow’s rigorous control measures ensure the fertiliser we produce is of the highest quality,” Mr Buck said. “Our liquids are clear solutions that don’t clog spray nozzles and lines. This enables the farmer to get on with the job of applying fertiliser with the minimum of fuss.”

Lower environmental footprint

As well as benefiting from Nitrasol’s technical advantages, farm businesses can also reduce their environmental footprint thanks to the latest technology adopted by Brineflow in its fertiliser formulation and production processes.

Ian Ferris, Brineflow’s managing director, said: “As policy makers are becoming much more focused on how to reduce environmental impact, it has given us the opportunity to be part of the solution for growers on their journey to a lighter environmental touch.

“With modern, specially designed facilities producing high quality products with significantly fewer ammonia and carbon emitting steps, choosing Nitrasol products is a big step in the right direction.”

In addition, the company’s Nitrasol AdvaNShield range contains a ground-breaking nitrogen inhibitor that reduces leaching and significantly reduced losses of ammonia to the atmosphere at all stages of the process.

Whether storing or using the product, AdvanShield protected fertilisers keep the nutrients where they should be, ready to convert into crop yield, as demonstrated in a range of independent and manufacturer trials in the UK, Europe and USA.

Excellent location

The Port of Sunderland is an excellent location for the new terminal. Mr Ferris said: “It enables us to import and store large cargoes of liquid fertiliser, while major road links offer good onward access to our key target destinations.”

The port has undergone rapid expansion since being granted Enterprise Zone status in 2017, with large sums of money invested in critical infrastructure, making it an attractive proposition for Brineflow.

Phase 1 of Nitrasol Terminal North, now operational, includes 9000t of shoreside tank storage complemented by dedicated ship-to-shore pipelines. This enables fast replenishment by ship tanker throughout the season, providing plenty of capacity to easily meet peak seasonal demands.

Phase 2, which already has all the permissions, will add significant additional portside storage, providing an annual capacity at Port of Sunderland Nitrasol terminal of about 150,000t.

The investment follows the opening of Brineflow’s £5m liquid fertiliser terminal at Great Yarmouth in 2019, where annual capacity of 150,000t is already available.



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