J. Murphy & Sons Ltd (“Murphy”), a leading specialist engineering and construction company, is pleased to have completed the construction of new storage tanks at the Oil and Pipelines Agency (OPA) oil fuel depot in Gosport, Hampshire.

Acting as Principal Designer and Contractor, Murphy upgraded the oil fuel depot for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Naval Command in order to meet the future requirements of the Royal Navy, including the new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.

Murphy’s scope of work included the design and replacement of fuel storage tanks, pipework, fuel delivery systems, gatehouse, control room, fuel sampling laboratory and stores. Works also included a new fire and foam system, with tank deluge and a new effluent treatment works.

Murphy self-delivered the vast majority of the project with direct resource and in-house Specialist Welding Services (SWS) and Pipeline Testing Services (PTS).

The project involved demolishing existing tanks and rebuilding a further eight tanks - including six new tanks and two return tanks - as well as new security fencing and new buildings constructed according to the MOD’s specifications.

To protect environmental sustainability, the new system allows the Royal Navy to recycle fuel from its vessels, including fuel that is contaminated or substandard, by filtering it and putting it safely back into production. The old tanks were recycled.

The site has been formally handed over at an opening ceremony to the operator, OPA, to enable supply of aviation fuel for Royal Navy aircrafts and helicopters, as well as diesel fuel for Royal Navy ships.

More than 800 people worked on the project, including Murphy employees and its supply chain partners, with over 970,000 hours worked throughout the project duration, which commenced in March 2018.

Peter Bartlett, Murphy Senior Project Manager, said:

“We are exceptionally pleased to have successfully delivered this critical defence infrastructure project safely through the pandemic with no interruptions and in line with the Royal Navy’s expectations. The oil fuel depot secures the bulk supply of fuels for the Royal Navy - both aviation fuel for aircrafts and helicopters as well as diesel fuel for ships - and underpins the UK’s energy security at a critically important time.

“This is the largest tank project Murphy has worked on in its history and involved multidisciplinary trades including pipework, tanks, civil works and electrical EC&I. It was a great team effort by all involved in the project, from the design team through to the site construction crews, engineers and commercial backup, as well as our in-house specialist units, Specialist Welding Services and Pipeline Technical Services. Together, we worked as ‘One Murphy’ by delivering the people, plant and expertise needed to make the project a success.”


Stephen Bunce, DIO Principal Project Manager, added:

“We are delighted to have completed this project to meet the Royal Navy’s fuel requirements.

“The upgrade work on the Gosport site was delivered on time and within budget and its success was achieved through good teamwork, communication and collaboration. It’s great to see this vitally important facility now in full operation.”