Contruction Plans for the Site

Foster Wheeler Plans:

Thanks to Graham Stevens for lending us a folder of documents. The folder contains several fantastic documents of the Occidental site and jetty. It provided valuable historic information, showing that the jetty remaining today was once planned to be longer at the end, and isn’t complete today. Some of the other maps and plans show the piping for the various containers, Gas Liquid Chromatography maps (it’s makes it sound better than GLC maps!!), diagrams of the various administration offices, canteen, carpark, and worker’s quarters which would’ve been placed in the north of the site, and the height comparison to a worker. These documents have given ourselves and other local historians an important insight into what would’ve been if the refinery hadn’t been aborted in 1978. You can see the images below, that BTP Liam and myself spent many hours combining from several photocopied segments of the documents.

The first map of the site with the locations of the drums as well as the main centre

Map 2 which shows you the plan for the Occidental Jetty; showing that it was planned to be longer. You can also see other small jetties that are coming off of the sea wall.

In this map, map 5, you can see the whole area with the proposed piping route going away from the site, north.

Map 10

Another map with the locations of the drums as well as the main centre

Map 8

The nature and location of the main centre were previously not known about. Here is a detailed look at it.

Map 7 shows you the the proposed administration buildings and workshops. You can see the scale difference between the people and the buildings. It’s a shame it’s not here!

Below are some of the more technical facets of planning of the site:

Plan from Potential Hazards Investigation Book:

I recently bought a book off Ebay (several are still on there and have been for along time – if you don’t want tobuty one there are also several down Canvey Library) called ‘Canvey: An investigation of potential hazards from operations in the Canvey Island/Thurrock area’. Although arguably the most boring book of all time, with 90% of it containing graphs and statistics on the possible harm the Shell, Coryton, Occidental, and United Refineries, and one small one in Standford-le-Hope, plus the Calor gas terminal on Canvey, could do if an explosion or disaster happened there, mainly to the surrounding population.

It did however contain something more than worth its price (despite only 7 pounds) which was a very detailed map/plan of the middle portion of the Occidental Refinery. It has great detail from road, bunds (blast mounds or something), drum dimensions, the construction jetty, and more. This is exactly what we are looking for. If we had the entire refinery in his format, then the mystery of the place would be more or less solved.

It also contains a fold-out map at the end showing the locations of all the local chemical industry (actual and planned):

What land was proposed to be put to use?

On Google Books I found a diagram showing what land the American company Occidental Petrolum (who are now a massive company known more commonly as ‘Oxy’), and the Italian company Untited Refineries Ltd. (who i can’t find a trace of now-days, and came in in the later days of the refinery’s construction), were scheduled to build on in the 70s. I have now found out that United Refineries wanted to build earlier but lost permission in 1964, Here is the original diagram showing other areas such as Hole Haven methane area, Coryton Refinery, Shell refinery :

With this, I now know that the concrete and wires found in ‘‘ could have been left by United Refineries rather than Occidental but United Refineries as far as local knowlegde goes did not actually begin constructing anything. The mystery as to these ruins continues. Also, there may have been some stuff built by United Refineries below Canvey Way.

The next is my ‘remastered’ version that was quickly done on ‘Paint’:

I recently visited the occidental jetty and read the writing imprinted on the metal struts which said ‘Dorman Long and co.’ which tells us that the metal work on the jetty was made by the large company People also rumor that Canvey way was originally built to get lorries to the Oil Refinery site.


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