Sunday, July 12, 2009

Industry Along the Piscataqua River - Sprague Energy

Entrance to Sprague Energy facility on River Road

The two tall concrete towers to the right in the photo above are recognizable landmarks to many in the NH Seacoast.  Perhaps you've noticed them while driving on the Spaulding Turnpike, kayaking on Great Bay, or hanging out at Wagon Hill Farm.  From a distance, they look like smoke stacks for a power plant.  It turns out, they're actually storage silos for Portland cement.  

View of Sprague Energy River Road facility from across the Piscataqua River

Sprague Energy operates two marine terminals along the Piscataqua River in Newington, NH and another storage and distribution facility in Portsmouth.  The Google Map below shows the locations of the three facilities.  The northern most facility is referred to as the River Road facility, while the middle one is called the Avery Lane facility, and the southern most facility is called the Portsmouth or Gosling Road facility.

View Sprague Energy Newington/Portsmouth NH in a larger map

You can see the clusters of storage tanks from the three facilities in the Google Map above.  The three facilities are as industrial-looking as anything on the Seacoast and some may think they're downright ugly.  But the truth is, these Sprague Energy facilities are an essential part of our local infrastructure.  Whenever you adjust your thermostat in the winter, light a burner on your propane stove, drive on a local road or over a local bridge, you may be using a product that passed through one of these facilities.

Here's an inventory of what's at the River Road facility:
> Five asphalt storage tanks (120,000 barrels total)
> Eleven petroleum products storage tanks (diesel, kerosene, jet fuel - 845,500 barrels)
> Two caustic-soda storage tanks (1.2 million gallons)
> Six tallow tanks (2.1 million gallons)
> One calcium-cloride storage tank (1.7 million gallons)
> Two cement storage silos (30,000 tons)
All of these storage tanks are connected to the marine terminal by pipelines so they can be filled from incoming tankers.  The storage tanks are also connected by pipeline to truck loading racks for distribution throughout the Seacoast and beyond. 

The River Road site also has open storage for 165,000 tons of salt and 120,000 tons of gypsum.  You can see the piles in the lower part of the Google map or in this bird's eye view from bing maps.

Tallow is the only export product stored at the facility.  Tallow is rendered animal fat and is used in production of soap, cosmetics, bird seed, and biodiesel, among other things. 

View of Sprague Energy Avery Lane facility from the Piscataqua River

The Avery Lane facility has the following:
> Seven asphalt storage tanks (218,000 barrels)
> Five storage tanks for other petroleum products (466,650 barrels)
> One Methyl-methacrylate tank (received only by rail)
> Two liquefied-petroleum-gas storage tanks (owned and operated by Sea-3)
Finally, the Gosling Road facility has three tanks that together can store 342,000 barrels of home heating oil.  These tanks are connected by pipeline to the marine terminal at Schiller Station.

Sprague Energy operates 20 marine terminals along the eastern seaboard and is headquartered at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.  The company had estimated revenues in 2007 of $136 million and employs around 500 workers.  They are wholly owned by Axel Johnson Inc.

1 comment:

  1. NH exports tallow? I wonder where it comes from since we don't have that many farm animals. Maybe they make it out of something else. Ugh!

    Who knew?



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