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Power generation/Petrochemical – Essar Oil - Stanlow Refinery Shutdown- Collaboration in Action

Essar’s Stanlow refinery is one of the largest refineries in Europe and covers an area the equivalent of 300 football pitches.
Power generation/Petrochemical – Essar Oil - Stanlow Refinery Shutdown- Collaboration in Action

Project Overview

Stanlow plays a key part in the national economy, producing over 16% of the UK’s road transport fuels. This includes:

  • 4.4 billion litres of diesel every year - enough to drive a car doing 40 mpg 4,000 times around the equator every day
  • 3 billion litres of petrol a year – enough to drive a car 20 million times around the world
  • 2 billion litres of jet fuel a year – enough to fuel 17,000 jumbo jets flying from Manchester to Los Angeles

More than 105 Ainscough team members and up to 72 mobile cranes a day played a crucial role in delivering the Block Turnaround at Essar’s Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port, South Wirral.


The project involved shutting down most of the refinery’s units for regulatory inspection, along with the overhaul of essential hardware and the installation of new equipment, which has been designed to run until 2022.


The magnitude of the programme means Ainscough is the only crane operator in the UK with the capacity, breadth of machinery and depth of expertise to meet Essar’s substantial requirements. At the peak of activity, 72 mobile cranes were on site, with 16 cranes working 24-hour shifts, with capacities ranging from 7t small mobile cranes up to 500-tonne heavy cranes.


Mobile cranes were required for varied durations from one to eighty-eight day hires, supported by Ainscough’s Northern region, and with additional assistance from other depots within the network.


On arrival at the site, all Ainscough Crane Hire personnel had to receive the Stanlow Site Induction. This included a specialised turnaround induction, followed by an Ainscough Personnel Induction.

More than 105 Ainscough team members and up to 72 cranes a day played a crucial role in delivering the Block Turnaround at Essar’s Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port, South Wirral.

The project involved shutting down most of the refinery’s units for regulatory inspection, along with the overhaul of essential hardware and the installation of new equipment designed to run until 2022.

The magnitude of the programme means Ainscough is the only Crane Operator in the UK with the capacity, breadth of machinery and depth of expertise to meet Essar’s substantial requirements. At the peak of activity, 72 cranes were on site, with 16 cranes working 24-hour shifts, with capacities ranging from 7t up to 500-tonne cranes.

Cranes were required for varied durations from one to eighty-eight day hires, supported by Ainscough’s Northern region, and with additional assistance from other depots within the network.

On arrival at the site, all Ainscough Crane Hire personnel had to receive the Stanlow Site Induction, which included a specialised turnaround induction, followed by an Ainscough Personnel Induction.

What were the benefits?

Early collaboration with the project team, Ainscough and Essar ensured the installation aligned with the construction programme.

The Ainscough ‘teamwork’ approach helped deliver the refinery’s shutdown requirements. This highly complex undertaking involved a large number of additional contractors and heavy equipment to deliver the project in a short period, helping to secure the long-term future of the site.

Essar also appreciates the breadth of skills Ainscough brings to an undertaking such as this, along with the capacity, manpower, and range of machinery available within our network of 400+ cranes and operators. Our fleet encompasses heavy cranes, mobile cranes and mobile tower cranes, and is many times greater than our nearest rival, which means we can manage the large logistical requirements on site.

Our infrastructure teams fully understand the complexities of the different contracting models, enabling us to develop and morph our approach to work within the right-contracting model at the Stanlow site. We take care to maintain the flex within the Ainscough network to preserve our ability to respond to the changing tides to suit the particular project needs of the client.

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