MV Muirneag, out of Ullapool, was carrying a very precious cargo as it approached No.1 Pier in the port of Stornoway. A precious cargo, but hardly a delicate one. A very bright blue, 12 tonne, 19,000 litre SuperVault above ground petrol storage tank, bound for Ravenspoint on the rugged south-east coast of Lewis. Jim Suff, Business Development Manager of Ledbury Welding and Engineering, who built the tank, and John Randall, Chairman of Co-chomunn na Pairc (Pairc Community Cooperative) who had bought it from him, were both at the harbour to watch the Muirneag dock.
“It had taken a long time to get to that stage. The final steps on a very long road.” said Jim wistfully, thinking back to that cool and blustery morning in August.”It was early in 2010 when I got the first call from Highlands and Islands Enterprise about pricing for a fuel storage tank for a Community Fuel Station at a remote community on the Isle of Lewis. I had actually sent out a mail-shot about our SuperVault tanks and technology a few years before that, a data sheet about how our product was particularly suitable for that kind of application. Traditional petrol stations have been closing down all over the highlands and islands for many years, because it is virtually impossible to run a petrol station based on the usual business model in areas which are as sparsely populated as the remoter glens and islands. We knew that there had long been discussion of funding being available to set up Community Fuel Stations. … Read More