When it comes to fuel storage you need to get it right the first time.
From the planning stage through to operation, ensuring that every aspect of the fuel storage facility is working correctly is crucial, whether they be major bulk storage of more than one million litres; bulk storage of less than one million litres; smaller self- bunded tanks or an array of horizontal single skin tanks.
If clear guidelines are not set, then the likelihood of a serious incident arises.
A recent study has revealed that industries all over the world still face explosions and fire hazards at their storage facilities, despite an abundance of safety measures. Caused by a multitude of reasons, ranging from the malfunctioning of installed devices to human error, these failures are potentially deadly.
Even the relatively less confronting issue of fuel leakage can have dire consequences financially; according to the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) the number of diesel leaks from tanks and pressure systems is believed to be approximately 3.4 X 10-2 per year globally .
This equates to both a high level of fuel loss and the potential for a serious accident. Despite the existence of AS1940-2004 ( Australian Standard – The Storage and Handling of Flammable and Combustible Liquids), and the states’ movement towards Global Standards (GHS) Global Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, a problem still presents itself; as each Australian State and Territory has a different legislatorial approach when it comes to fuel and oil storage and handling, which has the potential to breed confusion for businesses that operate across multiple states.
So the question must be asked; how can an operator ensure their facility not only follows state regulations, but is designed to the optimal “Best Practice” standard for each situation.
To overcome this confusion BP, the global energy and fuel company, has developed a series of best practice safety guidelines in building and maintaining industrial fuel storage facilities.
The first steps are focused on supply cover, as the capacity of a fuel storage facility is based on the recommended cover and throughput.
This is a major point for industries such as mining as supply cover is dependent on the distance from supply point and site remoteness, as well as the likelihood of being cut-off from access. For instance, the Roy Hill mine had to commission above average capacity on site fuel storage infrastructure for the massive iron ore project, as the site is about 400 kilometres from the major facilities at Port Hedland.
According to BP a mine or remote industrial site can use an easy calculation to aid determination of a site’s needs, unless special fuel consumption patterns are involved.
The different types of equipment required for the vehicles on site is also outlined, with the difference in facility design between heavy and light vehicles, as well as delivery and service tankers, and the discharge flow-rate options available in the proper creation of a fuel storage facility discussed.
Importantly, BP’s guidelines outline the Australian Standards to be adhered to in the operation of static storage tanks, including AS 1940-2004; AS 1692-2006; and AS 1657 2013 which outlines the storage, handling, steel tanks to be used, and access walkways, stairs and ladders.
Safety is reiterated in BP’s handy guidelines, which describe in plain language the high level alarms – SBT’s – and automatic tank gauging systems that need to be installed and how they operate; as well as the different piping systems available and the benefits that each type provide for operators.
BP also uses its guidelines to explain in detail the benefits of clean fuel programs and how BP can advise managers and operators and provide tailored programs to suit the configuration of particular sites.
Its guidelines also provides a step by step process for operators to build a maintenance program for refuelling facilities, both mechanical and electrical, running over varying periods, from weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly through to every five and even ten years, helping sites create optimal practices for their own facility.
BP is focused on helping its customers design, operate, and maintain their fuel storage facilities to ensure they are optimised and as efficient as possible for the job that needs doing.
Its Fuel Integrity and Technology Program (FIT) is designed to help businesses improve fuel management and cleanliness on site, as well as maximise their vehicle and equipment productivity, whilst at the same time reducing associated maintenance costs due to poor performance.
To hear from our experts as to what the Fuel Integrity and Technology (FIT) can do for you, watch this video.