Can London’s new gateway clean up?

DP World is pressing ahead with a major port development on brownfield land adjoining the Thames estuary despite the economic downturn. Philip Lightowlers explores how the company is managing the environmental issues thrown up by the project

On the flatlands of the Essex shore of the Thames estuary, between Cory’s Mucking landfill site and Petroplus’s Coryton refinery, lies 600 hectares of derelict land. This was once home to Shell’s mighty Shell Haven oil refinery, which was decommissioned in 1999 and demolished. Now the only remnants of the towering crackers and steaming pipework are a beleaguered bitumen plant and a terminal where ships unload kerosene.

Few buildings rema

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