SIX storage tanks at Barrow Docks are expected to be demolished after the terminals has been forced to start transporting a gas by-product by road.

The gas storage tanks are believed to have been at the docks for more than 70 years and are used by Spirit Energy to store and dispose of a by-product of producing gas for the grid.

Gas is brought onshore at the terminals via pipelines stretching out to the South Morecambe Platform in the Irish Sea.

Around 80 per cent of what is brought onshore is piped directly into the UK's gas network and is eventually used in our homes in our ovens, hobs and boilers.

The remaining 20 per cent, known as condensate, is separated from the gas at the terminals.

Previously the condensate has been piped to the six storage tanks at the docks and, when they are full, the tanks are emptied and the condensate is taken away by ship.

However, because of changes to the regulations surrounding gas condensate storage, terminals operator Spirit Energy has had to switch to a system where the condensate is transported directly from the terminals to other sites in the UK.

Spirit Energy is understood to have rented the storage tanks and they are expected to be demolished now they are no longer needed.

Up to 11 gas tankers a week will now visit the terminals in Rampside Road to remove the condensate after the energy firm was granted permission by the regulator.

A spokesman for Spirit Energy said: “The regulations around how we store the condensate we produce alongside the gas from Morecambe Bay are changing, so we needed to look at new ways of storing and offloading the liquids.

"After assessing all of the options and with approval from the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency, we will no longer use the tanks at the docks in Barrow and will instead use road tankers to take the condensate away from the terminals.

“We have a traffic management plan in place for the tankers, which will stay on the main roads out of Barrow on their way to the M6.”