Session 2010-11
Publications on the internet

Written evidence from Dome UK Ltd (AWC 14)

1. I have been a Director of Dome UK Ltd for three and a half years. Dome UK have built 130 timber salt stores across the UK since 1992. Prior to this was Commercial Manager for Salt Union Ltd at the Winsford Mine for 12 years. Previously Speciality De-Icers Business Manager with BP Chemicals. In total 20 years experience in the UK winter maintenance industry. I was a founding member of the National Winter Salting Research Group and remain active as part of the industry technical advisors group to this organisation.

2. In March 2009 we made a submission to the Select Committee investigating the winter of 2008/9. We stand behind the proposals we made at that time specifically around the need for increased salt stocks closer to the point of use.

3. With severe weather events 09/10 and December 2010 and the detailed study by Quarmby having accurately quantified the shortfall from indigenous production we would suggest that the level of this strategic stock be raised to at least 450,000 tonnes across the UK to ensure a robust supply chain.

4. It is also now clear that it is highly unlikely that this shortfall between demand and supply in snow conditions will be met by an increase in local production and that the UK is dependant on imports with long lead times and inflated prices to fill the gap.

5. With current delivered prices for imported salt at three times historic levels, payback on these facilities would be under a year.

6. We suggest that these strategic stocks are managed by the Highways Agency, Transport Scotland and the Welsh Assembly Government. Weighing and web based stock management systems are now available to monitor multiple users and keep an overview of stock levels.

7. We would recommend that purpose built salt barns like those supplied by ourselves that offer longevity, low maintenance, environmental protection and safe working conditions are used for these facilities.

8. We would welcome the opportunity to contribute further to the committee’s investigation.

February 2011