NWO’s decision from 1956 to choose Wilhelmshaven as a suitable site was based on the naturally formed shipping channel that the Jade Bay affords and the extremely convenient seaway it provides leading to the harbour town from the open sea. Since the facilities that had been planned were to include an extensive harbour area fully equipped with a tanker pier, the natural features were a sound argument in favour of selecting this location. Its relatively short distance from the German Bight of 25 NM (46 km) coupled with its wide and deep seaway offered optimum conditions for an oil harbour here. This harbour has always continued in private ownership from its inception to this day and this is something of a unique selling point, because there are only a very few harbours in Germany that are not under the ownership of a federal state.
Between 1958 and 1974 the original navigable depth of 13.6 metres was increased, having been excavated to a new depth of 22.3 metres. The costs of deepening the Jade Bay were borne by the German state, together with the local governments of Lower Saxony and North Rhine Westphalia and also by NWO itself. This increase in depth meant that even the increasingly very large crude carriers that had been built were now ensured a safe and unhindered passage as they came in to the oil harbour to deliver to NWO their cargoes of crude oil.
When a tanker docks, NWO’s actual work can begin: this is to transfer the crude oil safely and efficiently to the refineries that are to receive it, onward to further storage tanks or cavern facilities, and all this is achieved by means of the machinery we have here to operate the tanker pier, the storage tanks, and the pipelines. To fulfil this task NWO sets itself the very highest standards and is extremely well equipped with modern, state-of-the-art technology as a means of maintaining such high quality of service.