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September 2012 • Volume 2 • Issue 3

Creating Opportunities for Petroleum Professionals Up for the challenge

Building storage tanks in Africa is not for the faint-hearted

Is ‘friendly fuel’ really the answer?

The US military’s objective is to find efficient, affordable ways to decrease reliance on volatile foreign markets, but does the solution really lie in biofuels?

Preventing a fuel leak

A fuel leak at Mitchell International Airport in February has sparked a closer look at monitoring technology

The Fuelhandler page heading

Ramada Plaza, Antwerp, Belgium 21-22 November 2012


All this for just €990 when booked before the 21st September

Need a reason to attend the 5th Biofuels International Conference in November in Antwerp?

How about 10? In the space of two days you will hear presentations from: KLM: The airline that conducted the first commercial biofuel flight

UPM: The world’s first biorefinery producing advanced biofuels from wood-based feedstock

Beta Renewables: The world’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant

The European Commission: Providing an update on the latest developments to the Renewable Energy Directive

Renewable Energy Group: The US’ largest biodiesel producer

TMO Renewables: The owner of the UK’s first cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant

CropEnergies: largest bioethanol producer in Germany

Six sustainability experts including ISCC, Abengoa Bioenergy Trading, the RSB, ePURE and more

Agri Energy: The largest facility in UK to produce biodiesel from waste cooking oil

The Port of Amsterdam, Rotterdam & Ghent

Brought to you by the publishers of the leading international industry magazine Biofuels International, this is one event you can’t afford to miss. For full details visit or contact Margaret Dunn on +44 2086874126



3 15 17 18 Issue 3 • Volume 2 September 2012 Horseshoe Media Limited Marshall House 124 Middleton Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 6RW, UK Associate publisher & Editor Margaret Dunn Tel: +44 (0)20 8687 4126 Deputy editor James Barrett Tel: +44 (0)208 687 4146 STAFF WRITER Keeley Downey Tel: +44 (0)20 8687 4183 INTERNATIONAL Sales MANAGER Anisha Patel Tel: +44 (0) 203 551 5752 PRODUCTION Alison Balmer Tel: +44 (0)1673 876143 SUBSCRIPTION RATES £120/€185/$240 for 4 issues per year. Contact: Lisa Lee Tel: +44 (0)20 8687 4160 Fax: +44 (0)20 8687 4130 No part of this publication may be

reproduced or stored in any form by any mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording or other

Fuelhandler news Technology news Incident report Backward vertically integrated airline takes off in Pennsylvania 19 Jet fuel infrastructure updates 20 Profile: Extreme impacts

EPIC’s SVP of business development and strategy tells The Fuelhandler magazine how huge changes within the general aviation industry are impacting the company and others like it

22 Advances in secondary containment technology 24 Up for the challenge

Building storage tanks in Africa is not for the faint-hearted. One contractor explains the challenges it came across, and how these could be safely and efficiently overcome

26 A big change that may just go unnoticed

28 Still a long way to go

The biojet fuels currently commercially available are not the panacea for sustainable aviation, at least for this decade

30 Is ‘friendly fuel’ really the answer?

in good faith and every effort is

made to check accuracy, readers should verify facts and statements direct with official sources before

acting on them as the publisher

can accept no responsibility in this respect. Any opinions expressed

in this magazine should not be

Aviation fuel facilities are regulated for fire safety, environmental protection and fuel quality – none of which can be ignored

37 Petroleum products under fire

consent of the publisher. Whilst The Fuelhandler are published

The US military’s objective is to find efficient, affordable ways to decrease reliance on volatile foreign markets, but does the solution really lie in biofuels?

32 Alternative aviation fuels: recent successes and the plan forward 35 Minimum standards

means without the prior written the information and articles in

An enormous amount of work has been done to permit renewable jet fuel blends. Although these are big changes in terms of the jet fuel specification, it should be business as usual at the airport

At the beginning of June the website of Wars in the World reported that 59 countries were engaged in wars involving 337 militias-guerrillas and separatist groups. A frequent target of these groups is the petroleum products stored in shell tanks and pipelines; and during delivery by road tanker

41 Preventing a fuel leak

A fuel leak at Mitchell International Airport in February has sparked a closer look at monitoring technology

44 Upcoming events Ad index



September 2012 • Volume 2 • Issue 3

Creating Opportunities for Petroleum Professionals Up for the challenge

Building storage tanks in Africa is not for the faint-hearted

Is ‘friendly fuel’ really the answer?

The US military’s objective is to find efficient, affordable ways to decrease reliance on volatile foreign markets, but does the solution really lie in biofuels?

Preventing a fuel leak

A fuel leak at Mitchell International Airport in February has sparked a closer look at monitoring technology

construed as those of the publisher. ISSN 2047-7015

Front cover image Photo courtesy of the US Air Force

september 2012 1

The Fuelhandler comment

The National Petroleum Management Association Petro Expo 2013 Conference & Exhibition 23rd-28th June 2013, Washington DC, Hilton Alexandria Mark Centre

The Fuelhandler magazine, the official exhibition catalogue for the Petro Expo. To reach out to all the movers and shakers in the aviation fuelling industry – both military and commercial please contact: Anisha Patel +44 (0) 203 551 5752 2 September 2012

NEWS The Fuelhandler

Airbus and Chinese university partner for sustainable aviation biofuels Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has partnered with Chinese academic institution Tsinghua University to study how sustainable the nation’s feedstocks are and to evaluate how best to bring aviation biofuels to market. The first stage of the new project will see the two companies carry out sustainability analysis on a variety of feedstocks before the most suitable are chosen for phase two of the partnership. The first available results are due to be analysed later this year. The goal is to select a number of feedstocks including used cooking oil and algae. By the beginning of 2013 the full sustainability analysis should be completed and the partners will begin ramping up the production process for the development of commercial volumes of sustainable aviation biofuels. ‘The commercialisation of alternative fuels is one of the essential ingredients in our quest to achieving ambitious environmental targets in aviation,’ Frédéric Eychenne, programme manager at Airbus New Energies was reported to have said. Zhang Xiliang, project manager and director

Airbus is working in China to identify sustainable feedstocks for biojet fuel production

of Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, was quoted as saying: ‘The project will help us improve the understanding of the nature of aviation biofuels commercialisation in China, identify the opportunities and challenges and evaluate the possibility of

social, economic, market and technology change and its cost, obstacles and challenges. ‘We believe that this research will have positive effects on energy conservation, emissions reduction and climate change addressing in Chinese aviation sector.’ n

Kolkata airport to install new hydrant system

In India, Kolkata airport is installing a new refuelling system that will replace the existing oil tankers. A total of 56 fuel hydrant systems will be installed at the airport, with completion slated for 2013.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) currently is the only company to own a fuel hydrant system at the airport, while other oil companies use their own tankers. ‘Kolkata airport will have a common user terminal where all oil companies will feed their orders. IOC will operate the terminal. Once ready, fuel tankers will be done away with. Trucks with booster equipment will be used to pump fuel from underground pipes to the airport,’ the airport’s director B P Sharma is reported to have said. The new fuel hydrant system will ensure safety for passengers and airlines, and speed up the

fuelling process by pumping fuel to the filling outlets on the tarmac through a network of underground pipes. A faster process will greatly benefit the airport in the coming years as carrier throughput is predicted to increase. ‘In the present system, a tanker travels from the terminal to an aircraft. After refuelling the plane, the vehicle returns to the terminal for refill before being dispatched for another refuelling operation. When more flights operate per hour, then they need to be refilled quicker and that is possible only through the hydrant system,’ an IOC official was quoted as saying. In addition to the 56 fuel hydrants, IOC has started building a pipeline network stretching 18km that will transport aviation turbine fuel from its Maurigram-based terminal to fuel storage tanks at the airport. This project, estimated to cost Rs36 crore, will be operational next year also. n

Fifty-six new fuel hydrants will be installed at Kolkata airport

September 2012 3

The Fuelhandler news

Air France: ‘Can any passengers spare some fuel money?’ Passengers on an Air France flight travelling to Beirut were diverted to Syria and asked to contribute towards paying for the refuel. The plane was unable to land in Beirut due to violent protests close to the airport in Lebanon. The pilot first announced he would land the aircraft in Amman, Jordan but ended up landing 50 miles away from Beirut in Syria due to a lack of fuel. The pilot received emergency permission to land in Damascus despite fighting over President Bashar Assad’s regime. However, when on the tarmac, Air France revealed it was unable to pay for jet fuel with the company’s credit card due to ‘financial sanctions’. As a result the 174 passengers were asked for money to pay for the refuel, which would get them to Cyprus’ Larnaca airport – the nearest safe airport. A solution meant passengers did not have to fork out for the refuel in the end and the plane took off for Larnaca airport a couple of hours later. The passengers

Financial sanctions meant Air France had to ask its passengers to pay for the refuel

finally landed in Beirut in the afternoon of 16 August, 20 hours after take-off.

The journey, which began in Paris, should have taken just three hours. n

Q8Aviation imports 10m Sinopec company prepares tonnes of jet fuel at Bristol to produce green jet fuel Port Fuel supply service provider Q8Aviation has imported the 10 millionth tonne of jet fuel into Bristol Port’s Royal Portbury Dock at Avonmouth in southwest England. Q8Aviation says this is an important milestone for the company and its parent, Kuwait Petroleum. The fuel imported by Q8Aviation was supplied by KPC and transported from Kuwait in large product tankers. ‘Our investment in import facilities across Europe is an important part of our strategy to achieve greater control over our fuel supply chain and allows us to enter markets that are dependent on fuel imports owing to diminishing 4 September 2012

local refining capability,’ says Mark Welch, Q8Aviation’s supply and logistics director and former project director for Royal Portbury Dock. ‘The reliability of our supply chain has contributed greatly to the success of our business. Ten million tonnes is almost equivalent to the total volume of jet fuel consumed in the whole of the UK each year, and so it is certainly a substantial amount,’ Welch adds. The Royal Portbury Dock’s import facilities opened in 2003. Aviation fuel is transported by large product carriers from Kuwait and stored in tanks, before being moved onwards by the Government Pipelines and Storage System (GPSS) pipeline to London Heathrow. The fuel is supplied to Q8Aviation’s customers at Heathrow and other airports across the UK. n

Sinopec Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co., a unit of petroleum and petrochemical enterprise group China Petrochemical (Sinopec Group), is looking to convert waste cooking oil into jet fuel.

The company has been investigating the potential of green jet fuel since 2009 and recently it successfully produced renewable aviation kerosene from used cooking oil (UCO). Sinopec Zhenhai Refining & Chemical says it is able to produce 20,000 tonnes of renewable aviation fuel from UCO and hopes the government will certify its biojet fuel in January next year, so it can begin supplying commercial airlines. However, refining costs could significantly delay the development of this market, as it is between 1.5

to 2 times more expensive to refine UCO than the price of regular jet fuel today. ‘The cost of extracting biofuel from waste cooking oil and whether the fuel can be produced at a massive scale are two key factors that could hinder the market penetration of such fuel,’ Zou Jianjun, a professor at the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China, was quoted as saying. In addition, he said: ‘If the use of biofuel derived from gutter oil involved higher costs than the carbon tax, airlines will be reluctant to use the biofuel to power their flights.’ By 2020 it has been predicted that China will be consuming 12 million tonnes of renewable aviation fuel a year, around 30% of its projected total use. Sinopec plans to be producing 60,000 tonnes a year of jatrophabased biojet by 2014, once it has built its new refinery in which to do so. n

news The Fuelhandler

High fuel costs impact Lufthansa’s Q2 2012 profits German airline Lufthansa has earned an operating profit of €361 million in the second quarter of this year, from April to June, almost making up the loss it encountered in Q1. Lufthansa listed consistent capacity and yield management in passenger and cargo traffic, clear restructuring successes at Austrian Airlines and good earnings contributions from the service companies as positive factors. However high fuel costs, in addition to persistent price pressure, the air traffic tax and emissions trading certificates fees, meant the air carrier recognised an operating profit of €20 million at the end of the first half-year 2012, €134 million less than in the same period last year. Lufthansa reports that it was the rise in fuel costs compared with last year which essentially caused the segment to record an operating loss of €179 million, which was €100 million in the previous year. Simone Menne, CFO and responsible

Fuel costs have risen compared to last year

for Lufthansa’s aviation services, says: ‘By acting systematically, we want to ensure that we can continue to invest for our customers, secure and create jobs for our staff and maintain our profitable growth.

We cannot avoid taking some unpleasant steps, but they will not comprise quality. The positive earnings performance and the lower unit costs in the second quarter give us confidence that it is worth the effort.’ n

Refinery resumes exporting jet fuel after ‘pregnant’ pause Aden refinery in Yemen has started operations again after being shuttered for nine months due to attacks on the country’s main oil pipeline. The refinery has resumed exporting jet fuel; it transported 30,000 tonnes between

23-25 August. The facility was able to resume production after it received two shipments of crude oil from the country’s Ras Isa oil terminal at the end of July. It is currently able to pump crude at a rate of 60,000 bpd, but has a total capacity of 150,000 bpd. Before production at the site resumed, the Aden refinery was forced to

receive fuel hand-outs from Saudi Arabia and also turned to imports. It is thought Yemen will have to continue importing crude oil for the time being until the refinery reaches its full operating capacity. According to Yemen’s oil minister, the closed refinery led the country to lose as much as $15 million (€12 million) in revenues a day. n

BioJet and CERT form strategic business relationship The Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) and BioJet International have formed a strategic alliance to further the development of biojet fuel. BioJet International is a supply chain integrator in renewable jet fuel and related co-products which include green diesel for the aviation and related commercial transportation sectors. In 2011 BioJet received a $1.2 billion (€970 million) funding facility commitment to capitalise its supply chain projects programme, which includes feedstock and refining projects, in addition to investments and related strategic acquisitions. Its biofuel operations include feedstock generation, technology, refining, logistics, sustainability certification, distribution and eventual end use by the aviation sector. CERT is made up of 57 sovereign Indian tribes. Its members manage millions of acres of agricultural lands from which feedstock for biofuels may be grown. Its members also collectively own and manage over 30% of the coal west of Mississippi, 40% of domestic uranium and 10% of known national oil and gas reserves in the US. Speaking about the new business relationship, BioJet

CEO Mitch Hawkins says: ‘We envision the scope of our business relationship broadly with CERT to include at least $1 billion worth of joint projects over a 10-year period, locating feedstock generation and refining operations to provide biofuels for commercial airlines and ground transportation at key locations throughout the western United States.’ David Lester, CERT executive director, says: ‘We believe our sovereign tribal members, together with BioJet, are well suited to lead one of the largest economic transitions in history: the transition from a fossil-based to a biofuel-based transportation sector and, on a larger scale, the transition to building a foundation for sustainable tribal communities and an infrastructure for United States energy independence. ‘This effort will be led for CERT by Robert Martin, former National Ombudsman of the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC, as leader of the RES Alliance with which BioJet is a strategic partner. We are poised for a long transition period wherein biofuels gain large market share not only from fossil fuels but also from ethanol.’ CERT and BioJet expect to conclude a Memorandum of Agreement in the next 60 days to define the terms of their participation. n September 2012 5

The Fuelhandler news

Puma Energy to acquire two Chevron-owned island businesses Energy firm Puma Energy has finalised a deal to buy Chevron’s Puerto Rico- and Virgin Islands-based fuel marketing and aviation businesses. This transaction comes after Chevron’s 2010 announcement of its plans to sell all of its Caribbean businesses. The business acquisition includes storage tanks located in Guaynabo and St Thomas, an aviation fuel supply business in the US Virgin Islands, and a total of 199 service stations. PC Puerto Rico will manage the new company. Under the agreement Chevron’s operations, such as the retail service stations, can remain under the Texaco brand for a period of 18 months. During this time they will be changed to Puma’s brand. ‘This deal further confirms Puma Energy’s long-term commitment to Puerto Rico and our standing as one of the region’s largest investors,’ says Victor Dominguez, GM of Puma Energy Caribe. ‘By acquiring Chevron’s businesses in these markets, we will seek to achieve greater operational efficiencies, improving our ability to provide high quality, competitively priced fuel to all our customers.’ n

The newly acquired storage tanks and service stations will be changed to Puma’s brand within 18 months

Telluride upgrades receive $4m FAA grant aid Telluride Regional Airport in Colorado, US has been awarded a $4 million (€3.3 million) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant for infrastructural upgrades. The grant forms part of the FAA reauthorisation bill. Approved in February, the bill states that over $3 billion a year be spent on improving airport infrastructure across the US. Telluride’s funds will be spent over a number of years on a variety of projects that will improve its infrastructure, for example erosion control. ‘The passage of the FAA reauthorisation bill will help with our long-term planning by providing financial funding for multi-year projects,’ Rich Nutall, manager of Telluride Regional Airport, was reported as saying. ‘This will enable us to serve our customers better. We will need to complete some finishing touches on our runway project. We also hope to replace our taxiway and de-icing pad with the funds this bill will authorise.’ However, these authorised funds do not satisfy the entire demand. For the reason, funds are distributed on a need basis, with priority given to general aviation 6 September 2012

More than $3 billion a year will be invested in improving US airport infrastructure

and cargo projects. The remaining funds are then handed out to ‘set aside projects’, where further priority is awarded to airport noise and military programmes. ‘The grant is an important tool for the airport and for the Telluride community,’ Senator Michael Bennet,

who supported the implementation of the reauthorisation bill, was reported as saying. He continues: ‘It will allow for much needed improvements that will help keep the airport safe and reliable, which is essential to supporting economic development in the community.’ n

news The Fuelhandler

United Airlines joins SAFUG Air carrier United Airlines has joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), an industry group working to develop and commercialise biojet fuel for the aviation sector. All SAFUG members represent around 32% of commercial aviation fuel demand. United Airlines has been dedicated to bringing to market an alternative jet fuel for a number of years. It was the first airline to power a US commercial flight when it flew on renewable fuel in November last year after successful demonstration flights in 2010. It has also signed letters of intent to negotiate the purchase of more than 50 million gallons of sustainable biofuels. ‘We will all benefit from our collective work to find solutions to make alternative fuel available at commercial-scale and secure a sustainable future for aviation,’ Jimmy Samartzis, MD of global environmental affairs sustainability at United, was quoted as saying. On joining SAFUG, United Airlines signed a pledge to continue to advance drop-in biofuels by partnering with ‘leading organisations’ to achieve commercial levels of biojet fuel which is sustainably certified. n

Albany airport to get new storage tank Albany International Airport in Colonie, New York is to get a new sealed storage tank paid for with $3.14 million (€2.5 million) of federal funds that will be awarded to the Albany County Airport Authority. The tank, which will replace an existing storage lagoon, will store glycol once it has been used to de-ice airplanes at the airport. The capital will come from the US Department of Transportation’s Airport in Improvement Program and was announced by US senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Schumer was quoted as saying: ‘Maintaining safety of the glycol bio-treatment facility is a sure sign that Albany International will remain a good neighbour to travellers as well as to the Capital Region community.’ n

Can algae be key to unlocking aviation fuel? Pacific Algae Oil, a joint venture made up of Algae International Group and Pacific Oil Products, is exploring the potential of using algae to produce aviation fuel in a $2 million (€1.6 million) project. The JV leased four acres of land next to the Tulare County dairy factory’s wastewater treatment plant where it has built a pilotscale plant that is using CO2 and other gases to grow algae. Once the algae are dried they are squeezed to extract the oils, which are then refined and made into jet fuel. Currently, the pilot plant has the capacity to produce around 500,000 gallons a year of this fuel. However, according to Pacific Oil’s CEO David Gair, the facility could produce as much as 6 million gallons a year. Gair was reported to have said: ‘The best plant, like perennial tree seed oil, is

Wastewater from Tulare County dairy operations could help produce 6mgy of renewable jet fuel

going to yield about 1,000 gallons per acre per year in the best conditions. Algae is a different game altogether, but if cultivated correctly it’s capable of 125,000 gallons per acre per year, so it has a lot more to work with and a lot less work to do.’

The majority of the project’s costs will come from private investors, but the company has applied to the California Energy Commission for a grant, in addition to the US Department of Education’s Title 3 programme. n

CAO joint venture abandons tank terminal project Asia’s largest buyer of jet fuel, China Aviation Oil (CAO), has scrapped plans to build an oil storage terminal in Malaysia. In a partnership with Malaysian company Centralised Terminals, part of MISC and Dialog Group, CAO announced in October 2011 that it planned to construct a 380,000m3 storage tank terminal at Tanjung Langsat Port in Johor state by the end of 2013. CAO said at the time that all

the available capacity would be leased and used to store middle distillates and fuel oil for a minimum of seven years. However, as the project is a greenfield site, the joint venture has now mutually decided to terminate the agreement, saying the terminal would have taken a longer time to complete than originally thought. CAO is continuing to penetrate new regions as part of its four-year expansion plan; it recently purchased storage space in both Singapore CAO has abandoned its project that would have seen the dvelopment of a tank terminal and South Korea. n September 2012 7

The Fuelhandler news

AirAsia and GE Aviation sign fuel management agreement Asia’s low cost airline AirAsia has signed an agreement with GE Aviation, a provider of jet and turboprop engines, in a bid to reduce its consumption of jet fuel. The ‘Fuel and Carbon Solutions agreement’ will see GE use its ‘proprietary decision software’ and ‘fuel-consuming expertise’ to help AirAsia pinpoint potential improvement areas and track its progress as it works to move towards reducing its fuel usage and emissions. Airlines today spend between 30 and 40% of their total expenses on jet fuel – a vast percentage that has prompted many air carries to investigate ways of effectively

managing this pricey, volatile commodity. GE Aviation says its Fuel and Carbon Solutions provides a way for it to work with its customers and develop effective fuel management solutions. The programme comprises three steps: 1. Operational evaluation – identify and collect data on the airline’s current fuel and carbon reduction programmes, and quantify where the client is today 2. Customised solution design – further analyse data to isolate and prioritise potential improvements 3. Implementation, support and verification – work with customers to implement changes, and then measure and validate savings. ‘With Fuel and Carbon Solutions, GE

will work with AirAsia to help the airline enhance its operations and reduce the airline’s fuel spend by about 3%, which can equal significant savings on the expanding fleet,’ says John Gough, GE Aviation’s Fuel and Carbon Solutions leader. AirAsia CEO, Bo Lingam, comments: ‘AirAsia is committed to ensuring that environmental responsibility underpins our core values. Our goal is to make sustainability and efficiency the key to our operations. GE’s Fuel and Carbon Solutions provides a highly sophisticated IT platform to allow our team to make accurate comparisons of the effectiveness of our operational procedures with real fuel and emissions data.’ n

Medina Airport to invest in fuel tank to boost traffic The Ohio, US-based Medina Municipal Airport is to install a jet fuel depot in what will be its single largest investment. The project came about following an agreement between Medina city and University Hospitals, which will see University Hospitals park a medical helicopter at the airport. The city has

already built a housing unit for the helicopter pilots next to a hangar. The city council will now look to acquire a jet fuel tank for the airport. It is thought the addition of this jet fuel depot and added fuel consumption from the helicopter’s operations will bring between $30-50,000 (€23.8-40,000) extra revenue for the airport. A council meeting in June revealed that smaller aircraft were choosing to fill

up at other airports such as Wadsworth. A new jet fuel tank is believed to be the answer is attracting more customers. Olsen Products has been chosen to operate and service the new jet fuel tank, and says the acquisition and installation process will take around six months. The jet fuel tank project will cost Medina $430,306 and this includes the construction of a pad containment area in

addition to the purchase and acquisition of the tank itself. Prior to this a total of $35,000 has been spent on the airport in the last five to 10 years. Council member Bill Lamb was reported as saying: ‘These are smart proposals so that we do have a benefit long-term that is pretty realistic. When you look at the conversation about the hospitals and the use for the fuel, it just makes a lot of sense.’ n

Can autogas can reduce emissions and the cost of flying?

CAO leases storage tanks from Vopak

The Aviation Fuel Club has released the initial results of a study set up to investigate the effect of autogas on piston engine aircraft.

It is believed that CAO leased the tankage capacity at Vopak Terminal, Singapore in the first half of this year, where it is storing middle distillates. It is not yet known how much storage space CAO is utilising, but it is believed to be around 300,000 barrels. n

Autogas, or mogas, is ethanolfree and contains no lead. Todd Petersen, founding director of the Aviation Fuel Club, says: ‘We felt it was time to look at the latest data and see to what extent autogas could be used to lower the cost of flying and reduce lead emissions from our aircraft.’ The study revealed that 127,168 fixed-wing and rotary piston aircraft can operate with autogas today. This represents 8 September 2012

80% of the 159,007 active aircraft in the latest General Aviation Statistical Database from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The Aviation Fuel Club concludes that between 80-83% of all active piston engine aircraft and helicopters registered in the US could operate on autogas, dramatically reducing the cost of flying and lead emissions from general aviation. The authors of the study are now analysing the data to determine these percentages in several different categories of aircraft (light single, highperformance singles, twins, etc) and to estimate the relative fuel consumed. n

Asian aviation fuel company China Aviation Oil (CAO) is thought to be renting storage space from Vopak.

CAO is thought to be leasing around 30,000 barrels of storage space from Vopak

news The Fuelhandler

South Africa aims for 50% aviation biofuels by 2020 South African Airways (SAA) is set to explore the implementation of a voluntary carbon offset programme that could also support the development of forestry in South Africa. The state-owned airline, which works on a global scale, is vulnerable to policies in other countries that impose penalties and taxes on carbon emissions. Public enterprise minister Malusi Gigaba believes SAA requires biofuels to make up half of its fuel supply by 2020 to avoid future penalties. ‘This would create a pressing demand for an extremely

large quantity of biofuels which can form a base load against which a fully vertically integrated biofuels industry can develop in South Africa, as well as in the Southern African region,’ he says. Gigaba’s department is working with a supply chain and technical working groups to develop a strategy for meeting aviation biofuels requirements, with initial findings set to be released by the end of the third quarter of this year. Under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme all airlines flying in EU airspace currently have to pay 15% of their polluting carbon emissions for 2012. n

African airlines suffer due to poor airport infrastructure Africa’s air carriers are currently suffering low profits and sky-high jet fuel costs as they struggle to expand and improve their services due to limited infrastructure at African airports. Over 65% of African airlines’ incomes today are going on fuelling – either fuel costs or taxes put on the fuel. Nevertheless, despite a rising demand for air travel, expansion is being hampered by insufficient infrastructure at the airports. This is also being blamed for the airlines’ poor operability. Many airports across

the nation feature poor communication technology, unreliable power supplies and badly paved runways. For example, a lack of lighting for nighttime takeoff and landing means many air carriers can only operate during the day, leaving aeroplanes out of service once the sun has set. Tanzania’s fastest growing airline Precision Air says a lack of such infrastructure is affecting its potential to expand, despite a growing need for air transport. CEO of Precision Air Alfonse Kioko says that while it can increase the number of flights, it will continue to face setbacks unless poor airport facilities are addressed. n

ConocoPhillips rebrands downstream business as Phillips 66 ConocoPhillips Ltd’s company name is now Phillips 66 Ltd, after the name change came into effect this summer.

The change follows ConocoPhillips’ global repositioning of its upstream and downstream operations to create two independently operated companies, which took place in May. A result, Phillips 66 Ltd, a subsidiary of Phillips 66, is focused on downstream refining, marketing operations and UK trading. The company’s fuel brand will remain Jet in the UK. ‘Although the name Phillips 66 Ltd may be new to many in the UK sector, Phillips 66 already

has a rich heritage in many countries across the world,’ says Pete George, manager of UK and Ireland marketing, who describes the company’s Humber Refinery as ‘world-class’. The facility is a major part of Phillips 66’s refining operations, processing around 221,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The refinery produces a range of light products and fuel oil, including low sulphur petrol, diesel, aviation fuels and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Approximately 70% of the light oils produced in the refinery are marketed in the UK, while the other products are exported to Europe and the US. The company says that aviation and marine will continue to be key markets for the UK business.

Phillip 66’s Humber Refinery

‘The autonomy we will enjoy as Phillips 66 Ltd. will give us greater focus and

flexibility to anticipate and respond to the demands of the marketplace,’ adds George. n

Missouri fuelling system to be completed by Q4 2012 Plans are progressing with the development of a new fuelling system at Northwest Missouri Regional Airport, US. Slated for completion by December this year, the new fuelling station will comprise two 10,000 gallon storage tanks; one for 100 low lead aviation fuel and the other for Jet A-1 fuel.

Following the recent addition of $109,000 (€89,000) to the project, the total price of installing the new fuelling system is just over $472,000. Ninety five per cent of this will come from government funds with the remaining 5%, or $24,000, coming from the city. The new fuelling station is one of two projects planned for the airport. The second includes upgrades to the airport’s apron, runway and taxiway, and will take five years to complete. n September 2012 9

The Fuelhandler news

Airlines look to relocate international activities in a money-saving move Some of India's budget airlines are seeking government permission to relocate their international operations in a bid to save on operational costs. Rising jet fuel prices have been blamed for these high costs and as a result IndiGo and SpiceJet have written to the ministry. They are looking to move their international business, currently located at T3 in Delhi, to the

domestic 1D terminal instead. While the cost of aviation fuel has dropped by around 25%, the rupee has fallen further, offsetting any beneficial impacts this would have had for the airlines. The government is yet to respond to IndiGo and SpiceJet's requests but if their proposal is accepted, the airlines say it will help them drive down costs significantly. Operating from T3 costs airlines 300% more than if they were located at the domestic terminal. n

New fuel pumps proposed for Pekin airport A proposal has been submitted to the Pekin City Council in Illinois, US, to replace the fuel stations at Pekin Municipal Airport. The project would require an investment of $188,000 (€150,000), 90% of which would be funded by the Federal Aviation Administration. The administration says the upgrade is necessary as the existing fuel pumps have been in place since the 1960s, making it increasingly difficult to buy spare parts.

In a recent assessment, the pumps’ electrical circuits were found to be underutilised and therefore dangerous. A new pump shutoff system had to be designed in case of an emergency. Total funds of $150,000 would be used to build the new Jet A-1 and 100 low lead fuelling stations. Construction includes the installation of new pumps, filters and meters, a credit card machine and new lighting for enhanced night visibility. The council has begun accepting bids and construction is planned for completion by the end of this year. n

Nearly $190k would be invested to replace the airport’s fuel pumps

10 September 2012

News in brief

South African JV will handle 3 million gallons of jet fuel a month AFI South Africa, a subsidiary of fuel logistics company FuelStream, and air transport organisation Global Airways have formed an agreement to set up a new joint venture dedicated to fuel logistics. Under the new partnership, both companies plan to generate more capital by tapping into new markets. Together they will develop, operate and manage South Africa-based operations in the fuel storage, supply and logistics sectors. By the end of 2013 the new company will be supplying 3 million gallons a month of jet fuel. FuelStrem’s CEO Russell Adler described Global as a ‘trusted premier aviation brand’. He said the combined expertise brought to the new JV ‘will serve as the foundation to develop a standardised fuel logistics model in a region that traditionally lagged behind many parts of the world’.

Jet Aviation adds fuelling at its international FBOs A new on-site fuelling service has been introduced at General Dynamics’ wholly owned subsidiary Jet Aviation’s international FBOs. Jet Aviation is a Zurich, Switzerlandbased business aviation services provider. Available to its FBO and MRO customers throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Jet Aviation’s programme has been launched alongside its existing fuelling scheme, which is only available for its clients involved in aircraft management. The company says the new programme will prove efficient for its customers as it will enable them to meet all their needs at one location. The on-site fuelling service will also help the FBOs better coordinate the various on-going fuelling and ground handling services being carried out, which would prevent delays and lead to more departures leaving on time.

AliphaJet moves biofuels project to next stage After successful demonstration of its catalytic process for making jet fuel, diesel and high octane petrol from renewable energy sources, AliphaJet is taking the project to the next level. AliphaJet used plant oil and animal fat to produce its biofuels and is now launching a programme to build a demonstration-scale facility with an annual capacity of 500,000 gallons a year, due for completion within a year. The company is seeking to raise $4.5 million (€3.6 million) to instigate the facility’s construction and operation. The company has also joined the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA). ‘We feel the ABFA is the premier industry advocacy organisation for companies ready to commercialise the next generation of advanced biofuels,’ says AliphaJet CEO Jack Oswald. ‘As we begin the commercial scale-up phase we chose to join an organisation representing our industry’s interests and working to make sure we have a sound national energy policy that includes advanced biofuels.’

news The Fuelhandler


Gevo supplies biojet to US military Biofuel and renewable chemicals company Gevo produced ‘alcohol-to-jet’ (ATJ) fuel that was used to power a military test flight. In what Gevo describes as ‘the first successful ATJ fuel test flight’, the US Air Force flew an A-10 Thunder Bolt jet aircraft powered by Gevo’s 50/50 blend of ATJ and JP-8. Gevo provided the fuel in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL), the Air Force Alternative Fuels Certification Division (AFCD) and the 40 Flight-Test Squadron, demonstrating that ATJ is a ‘technically viable and promising alternative for both military and commercial applications’, according to Gevo’s president and CEO Chris Ryan. He adds: ‘The test flight represented an accumulation of more than 4,000 hours of hard work involving innovative

& CONFIDENT Durable Protection Against JP8 and Harsh Contaminants

testing, multiple players and years of research on everyone’s part.’ The test flight comes after Gevo was awarded a contract in 2011 to provide the US Air Force with 11,000 gallons of its isobutanol-derived ATJ for testing by the AFCD. The biojet is a drop-in fuel, designed to be fully compliant with aviation fuel specifications and provide equal performance, including fit-for-purpose properties. Speaking about the ATJ, Jeffrey Braun, AFCD’s division chief, says: ‘The AF previously ran a series of engine ground tests, using the 50/50 blend of the ATJ and JP-8. Data was then compared with previous results from JP-8 baseline testing. Engine performance parameters monitored during the testing remained unchanged when utilising the ATJ fuel blend. We were very pleased with the technical performance of the ATJ material.’ n

Call for Oz airlines to lower ticket surcharges as fuel price drops Australian airlines are being urged to reduce their ticket surcharges as the cost of jet fuel has fallen by 25% over the past three months. Air carriers such as Qantas and Virgin Australia have been accused of not lowering their extra surcharges as quickly as they impose them when jet prices increased. For example, Qantas increased its surcharges in March this year. Since then the price of Singapore aviation fuel has dropped

25% and costs $103 (€81.6) per barrel today – an all-time low since December 2010. However, the airline’s higher surcharges remain unchanged and passengers flying one-way from Australia to London are still faced with an additional $380 charge. From Australia to the US, a $340 charge is in place. Nevertheless, Qantas says its surcharges are realistic given the $4.4 billion it spent on jet fuel in the last financial year – an all-time high. The 2010/11 financial year saw Qantas invest a significantly lower $3.6 million on fuel. n

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Ticket surcharges remain high as fluctuating fuel prices fall

©2012 MASLEY ENTERPRISES, INC. GORE-TEX is a registered trademark of W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. Photos courtesy of Use does not imply or constitute Department of Defense endorsement of this organization, its products or services.

September 2012 11 G2804_masley_pol_glove_v_90x275.indd 1

1/31/12 1:27 PM

plant update biofuels

The Fuelhandler news PT Perkebunan Nusantara

Vichitbhan Group

Asig renews existing and secures new refuelling and ground handling contracts Location Alternative fuel Feedstock Construction or expansion Completion date

Indonesia, Medan Biodiesel Palm oil Construction Q4 2009

Low cost airline Sprit Airlines has Pure Biodiesel chosen aviation services provider Location Thailand Asig as its new Alternative fuel aircraft refuelling Biodiesel agent at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Capacity 300,000 litres a day Feedstock International Airport (FLL).Crude palm oil Construction or expansion Completion date

Construction June 2009

Location Alternative fuel Feedstock Construction or expansion Investment ompletion date

Thailand Biomass Palm oil Construction THB 1 billion (€20 million) By 2011

Vichitbhan Group Location Alternative fuel Feedstock Construction or expansion Investment ompletion date

Thailand Biogas Palm oil Construction THB 300 million By 2011

Spirit Airlines is headquartered in FLL, its largest operation with 49 departures a day. Riverina and BioEnergy Asig began its services there onOils 1 September. Location Spirit Airlines has also chosen Australia, Asig as Wagga Wagga Alternative Biodiesel fuel handler atfuel Baltimore/Washington Capacity Thurgood Marshall170,000 International (BWI), tonnes a year Feedstock a new destination for the carrier. Oilseed Construction or expansion Construction At BWI, Asig will provide ground Vichitbhan Group Project start date September 2009 handling, aircraft refuelling, de-icing, Location Thailand Completion date October 2010 passenger services and cabin cleaning. Spirit Alternative fuel Biogas Comment Edible oils to be produced in the rst began flying from BWI on 6 September. Feedstock Palm oil phase, biodiesel in the second Asig now handles Spirit at 11 Construction or expansion Construction US airports providing a variety of Investment THB 160 million Roxol Bioenergy airside ground support services. ompletion date By 2011 Tim Ramsey, senior VP of salesPhilippines, and Location La Carlota City has awarded ASIG a refuelling contract Spirit Airlines Alternative fuel comments: ‘We Ethanol marketing at Asig, are Capacity locations across the US and look forward excited to extend our relationship100,000 with litres a dayagreement to provide United Continental Feedstock Sugarcane and molasses with aircraft refuelling services at LAX. to providing them with continued high Spirit Airlines to help support their Construction or expansion Construction quality services,’ says Ramsey. impressive growth. Earlier this year we were LAX is one of the airline’s busiest Designer/builder KBK Chem-Engineering hubs with 195 flights a day. The contract And in a separate agreement, Asig was also selected to provide comprehensive Project start date 2008 awarded refuelling services at Detroit airside services to Spirit at LAX (Los was first awarded to Asig in 2007. Completion date Airport).’ Q1 2010 ‘We provide United Continental Metropolitan Airport. Both contracts Angeles International Comment One of the key features of the plant is cover mainline and express flights. n In similar news, Asig has renewed its with aviation fuel services at numerous a wastewater treatment system that converts pollutants into biogas which can be used as fuel

This This list list is is based based on on information information made made available available to to Biofuels Biofuels International International magazine magazine at at the the time time of of printing. printing. If If you you would would like like to to update update the the list list with with any any additional additional plant plant information for future issues, please email information for future issues, please email

TANK STORAGE magazine Sign up now to receive your FREE fortnightly newsletter providing up-to-date Sign up now receive your FREE weekly newsletter providing up-to-date information on to acquisitions, mergers, new terminals and the latest regulations: information on acquisitions, mergers, new terminals and the latest regulations: If you would like your company’s news to feature in this please contact: (+44 20 8687 4126) If you would like your company’s name to feature in this please contact (+44 (0)20 8687 4126) biofuels international 12 September 2012

october 2009 41

news The Fuelhandler

Saudi Aramco asked to cut jet fuel costs KFIA improves airport facilities

Saudi Arabia’s largest oil producer has been asked by aviation authorities to slash its jet fuel prices ahead of new domestic airlines entering the country’s aviation space.

The nation’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GACA) believes that Saudi Aramco should cut the amount it charges for aviation fuel in a bid to even prices across Gulf countries and to encourage competition in the domestic market. GACA’s VP Faisal Al-Sugair was quoted as saying: ‘Aramco is charging airline companies prices higher than international prices, even in neighbouring countries with lesser potential. It is unreasonable that the world’s top oil producer demands a higher price than other countries with lesser oil resources.’ The higher jet fuel prices

A new refuelling station is being developed for the King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) in Saudi Arabia in a bid to increase traffic.

Saudi Arabia’s aviation authorities will approve new domestic airlines by the end of next year

currently in place are forcing airlines to refuel outside of Saudi Arabia, Al-Sugair added. He is also concerned that aircraft landing with fuller fuel tanks could damage the runways. Saudi Arabian Airlines is the only air carrier to serve Saudi Arabia’s local market,

however foreign airlines will soon be able to penetrate this market as well. Fourteen airlines, including Qatar Airways, Bahrain Air and Gulf Air have applied to GACA to establish a Saudi Arabian domestic airline. Approval for new carriers is expected in the fourth quarter of 2013. n

Airport management are also developing a hotel to accommodate passengers. ‘Work is progressing to launch the new fuel station at the airport,’ explains KFIA director general Khalid Al-Muzail. ‘This new station is part of our efforts to provide the best services at the airport in view of the increasing traffic. ‘We are in the process of implementing a number of development projects. The hotel project may be complete in around 18 to 24 months.’ The airport will be strategically located for passengers as the Dammam city centre is a long distance from the airport. Al-Muzail says the development plans came about after reading the media’s criticism about the airport’s facilities. n

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Renewable fuels and blending Fire prevention Pumps PPE Inspections Pipelines Automation Safe access and fall protection Maintenance Filters Hoses, couplings, nozzles and valves Financing


Visit our website For further information on editorial and advertising opportunities please contact Anisha Patel or +44 (0) 203 551 5752 September 2012 13

The Fuelhandler news

Algae.Tec commissions algae-to-biofuels plant Algae company Algae. Tec officially opened its algae-to-biofuels facility Shoalhaven One on 2 August in New South Wales, Australia. The facility showcases the company’s algae growth and harvesting system, which can then be used to produce jet fuel or diesel. Algae.Tec has recently recruited biofuels and aviation fuels specialist engineer Colin McGregor as GM of project operations. Algae.Tec executive chairman Roger Stroud said the company

offers Australia energy security at a time when conventional fossil fuel companies are leaving the local market: ‘Algae.Tec offers the promise of home growth transport fuels (aviation and diesel), which is the number one energy security priority for countries like the US and increasingly Australia.’ Inspection, verification, testing and certification services company SGS will now undertake the third party yield validation process. The company will use waste carbon dioxide from Manildra Group’s ethanol production process to help the algae grow. n

Fluid Transfer International awarded £2m contract Engineering company Fluid Transfer International has been awarded a £2.11 million (€2.7 million) contract to provide Indonesia’s oil company Pertamina with hydrant dispenser trucks. The contract includes the supply of 22 hydrant systems that will be used to refuel aircraft at any of Indonesia’s 38 airports. Fluid Transfer International will have to supply the systems

within six months as stated by the contract, whereas a delivery such as this would normally take nine months. The company will build the modules at its UK factory in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire and its Indonesian partner Aweco will provide the chassis. The project will create 25 additional jobs for assembly, production and project engineers throughout the contract period. The company was awarded the contract over competing companies from the US and Australia. n

Australian fuel fears now ‘golden’ with new tanks The installation of two new fuel storage tanks at Gold Coast Airport in Australia will eliminate the airport’s constant fears of running out of jet fuel. The existing 30-year old system can store 400,000 litres of aviation fuel, which is the total amount consumed in a day. However, the new tanks will enable Gold Coast Airport to store a combined 4 million litres of fuel on site. MD at the airport Charles Martin says the airport had come close to running out of fuel on several occasions during the last few years, namely when the 10-times-a-day deliveries of fuel from Brisbane were delayed: ‘We have had a couple of close calls as the airport expanded and we needed to keep fuel capacity up.’ He continues: ‘By operating with only a day’s consumption available, there was the risk if there was any delay on the M1 down from Brisbane, it could jeopardise the aircraft operations. It’s not about reducing our fuel deliveries, it’s about having enough fuel on the site.’ The fuel hydrant system will installed and hooked up later this year. n

Gold Coast Airport is installing two new fuel storage tanks

Total reaffirms partnership with Amyris Renewable products company Amyris has signed an amendment for its existing technology collaboration agreement with Total. Under the enhanced collaboration, Total reaffirms its commitment to Amyris’ technology and says that it will now dedicate its three-year $82 million (€67.5 million) funding budget solely for the deployment of Biofene – Amyris’ renewable farnesene that can be used to make jet fuel and diesel. Following the completion of their 14 September 2012

R&D programme, Amyris and Total say they will create a joint venture company that would have exclusive rights to produce and market jet fuel and/or diesel, in addition to other, non-exclusive rights to other speciality products. ‘We reaffirm our strategic relationship with Total to achieve our joint development and commercialisation objectives for renewable diesel and jet fuel,’ says John Melo, Amyris president and CEO. ‘We are appreciative of Total’s on-going support of Amyris. In addition to our continued development of jet and diesel businesses in Brazil independently, this

enhanced collaboration provides a global platform for the future growth in fuels under a future joint venture with Total.’ Philippe Boisseau, president of supplymarketing and a member of Total’s executive committee, says: ‘With this refocused partnership, we’ll reach our business objectives, expand our ability to become a key supplier in renewable fuels and better meet our customers’ highest demands.’ As part of the agreed amendment to this partnership Total will invest $30 million during the third quarter of this year. Total will release the rest of its funding at annual decision points in mid-2013 and 2014. n

technology news The Fuelhandler

Rampmaster dreams of cracking Latin America Rampmaster, a manufacturer of air refuelling solutions, is looking to integrate the Latin American aviation market after identifying it as a ‘targeted area for global growth and expansion’. With this, GTI/Rampmaster has appointed Marcos Cajiao as director of Latin America sales and marketing. Cajio has extensive experience in the Latin American aviation jet fuels and petroleum markets. He joined Rampmaster in May earlier this year and is working to further develop the company’s brand in this new territory. A part of the company’s product line – its patented

Engine Management (flow control) System (EMS) – is proving extremely popular in Latin America. Owen Watkins, Rampmaster’s VP of engineering and production and lead developer of the EMS technical innovation, says: ‘EMS allows the engine RPM to vary up and down depending on what the aircraft needs are, allowing the vehicle to consume up to 78% less of its diesel fuel while pumping. Those savings are extremely compelling for refuelling operators in any country.’ ‘In a short period of time we’ve made huge progress,’ says Cajio. ‘The response to our products and capability in the market so far has been increasable. Some of the most knowledgeable and influential industry executives have been extremely impressed with our product line, including EMS.’ n

Sustainable biojet fuel first target for new Chinese research centre

Exploring sustainable aviation biofuels will be the first project by a newly opened airline technology centre in China.

The Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Centre is a collaborative effort to support commercial freight and passenger aviation growth by passenger aircraft manufacturers Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China and multinational aerospace company Boeing. Both companies announced that the centre will first explore opportunities to refine waste cooking oil into sustainable aviation biofuel by identifying contaminants in the oil and creating

processes that may treat and clean it for use as jet fuel. ‘Energy conservation and emission reduction is currently a focus of the global aviation sector and our collaboration with Boeing in this regard will have profound impacts in China as well as the world,’ COMAC VP Shi Jianzhong was quoted as saying. ‘We wish to construct the new centre as a demonstrative advanced technology centre and to make contributions to the development of the aviation industry in China and the world with the concerted efforts of both sides.’ The centre is based at the Beijing Aeronautical Science and Technology Research Institute and will also work with other Chinabased institutes and universities to help expand on research projects. n

Biobor JF now available in Amsterdam

Cessna develops Jet A-1 engine for piston market

The jet fuel biocide Biobor JF is now being stocked in Aviall Services’ customer service centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, having been approved for use in the European Union since 2010.

General aviation company Cessna Aircraft has introduced a new technology for single-engine airplanes that will offer the aviation industry increased flexibility.

‘This new agreement will give our customers in the European Union quicker access to Biobor JF with fast direct shipping,’ Rick Richardson, aviation sales manager at Hammonds Fuel Additives, says. Biobor JF will continue to be approved on a yearly basis while Hammonds Fuel Additives works to gain long-term certification. It is one of only two biocides that are accepted for use by the FAA and IATA, used by a number of aircraft and engine manufacturers including Boeing Aircraft, AirBus Industries, Gulf

Stream Aerospace, Lockheed Aircraft Company, Rolls Royce Engines, General Electric Engines and Pratt Whitney Engines. It is also used by major airlines such as American, United Airlines and Delta Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France. Dallas-headquartered Aviall Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Company, is a solutions provider of aftermarket supply chain management services for the aerospace and defence industries. The company also provides maintenance for aviation batteries, wheels and brakes, as well as hose assembly, knitting and paint mixing services. The company offers supply chain and logistics services, including order processing, stocking and fulfilment automated inventory management and reverse logistics to OEMs and customers. n

Its Model 182 Skylane is now available as the new Turbo 182, fitted with an engine that can run on Jet A aviation fuel – a first for the single-engine industry. ‘The 230 horsepower Jet A engine offers customers increased range and greater payload capacity and does not sacrifice performance,’ says Jeff Umscheid, Cessna 182 business leader. ‘This plane offers significantly lower direct operating costs due to the fact that Jet A fuel is typically more affordable and much more widely available.’ The Turbo 182 has already been tested for reliability and flight performance and today is FAA and EASA certified. The engine uses only 11 gallons per hour of the typically lower-cost Jet A fuel. ‘Operators can now take advantage of the wide availability of Jet A with the potential to fly further on one gallon of gas than you can with traditional avgas aircraft,’ Umscheid says, who describes the new technology as a ‘game changer’. The Turbo 182 also has some environmental benefits: the fuel technology used in this engine eliminates carbon monoxide emissions. Additionally, there are no lead or CO emissions and the engine will burn between 3040% less fuel than comparable avgas engines. n September 2012 15

The Fuelhandler technology news

Eaton awarded fuel tank inerting contract Eaton, a diversified power management company, has been awarded a contract by Learjet 85 to supply a fuel tank inerting system for the new Bombardier Learjet 85 business jet. Under the contract, Eaton will also support the regulatory process to achieve FAA inerting system certification for the Learjet 85 programme. Last year, Eaton successfully completed the industry’s first multi-tank inerting gas distribution system certification process for the

Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The fuel tank inerting system enhances aircraft safety by injecting inert gas into fuel tanks to significantly reduce the potential for ignition sources. ‘Eaton’s dual expertise in fuel-inerting system design and certification was instrumental in our selection for the Learjet 85 contract,’ says Jerry Smithson, divisional sales director of Eaton’s fuel systems division. Earlier this year, Eaton announced that it had been selected by Embraer Defense and Security as the fuelinerting system supplier for the next generation KC-390 military transport aircraft. n

Aemetis to explore biojet fuel with Chevron technology Biofuels and renewable chemicals company Aemetis plans to use technology developed by energy provider Chevron and construction company Chicago Bridge and Iron (CBI) to explore jet fuel and diesel production. The technology, provided by Chevron and CBI joint venture Chevron Lummus Global, uses water to convert plant oils into products that are similar to petroleum crude and can be refined into fuel. ‘By licensing our technology Aemetis hopes to accelerate its efforts to commercialise drop-in renewable jet fuel and diesel. These differ from competing biofuels because they may be used without blending standard, petroleum-based products,’ says Chevron Lummus MD Leon de Bruyn. Aemetis will pay a $0.10 (€0.07) per gallon royalty fee with certain decreases based on the volume of fuel produced. n

Oxford Catalysts to supply Reelcraft static discharge technology to sustainable reel eases grounding issues jet fuel plant Reelcraft Industries’ static discharge reels are used to ground equipment operating in hazardous atmospheres. When properly clamped to the ground, the static discharge reel dissipates static electrical build-up, reducing the chances of sparking

Static discharge reel from Reelcraft Industries

16 September 2012

and the potential for explosion. The reels are available with 3/32” OD steel aircraft cable or 1/8” OD nylon covered cable. Reels are supplied with a 100 Amp universal jawtype grounding clamp. Static discharge reels are factory lubricated for life and require no additional lubrication. n

Oxford Catalysts Group, a technology manufacturer for the production of synthetic fuels, is to supply its technology to the GreenSky London plant. A joint venture between Solena Fuels and British Airways, GreenSky London will be Europe’s first commercial-scale sustainable jet fuel facility, producing renewable jet fuel from waste biomass. Oxford Catalysts will now provide its Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology to the plant

after being selected by Solena following a formal evaluation. In addition, Solena has entered into an understanding with the group for the supply of FT units to its future biomass-to-liquid projects with other airlines and shipping companies. Partner British Airways intends to use to low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet by 2015. ‘We are pleased to be part of the GreenSky London project and to contribute to British Airways’ strategy for sustainable aviation and Solena’s worldwide roll out plan,’ says Roy Lipski, CEO of Oxford Catalysts Group. n

GreenSky London is a joint venture between British Airways and Solena

incident report The Fuelhandler

A summary of the recent major explosions, fires and leaks in the aviation industry Date

Location Company

Incident Information

27/08/12 Palos Park, Illinois, US Buckeye Around 44,000 gallons of jet fuel leaked after a pipeline ruptured in at around 2.40am. Partners The Badger Pipe Line System, owned by West Shore and operated by Buckeye Partners, transfers fuels from Chicago, Indiana to Wisconsin. Fuel leaked near Illinois Highway 83 and Cal-Sag Channel, causing a section of the road to be closed until 30 August while crews continue with their clean-up operation to remove the fuel-saturated soil and repair the pipeline. No one was evacuated as a result of the leak, as no houses are located nearby. Air quality is being monitored and no negative effects on surrounding wildlife have been reported. Authorities were also forced to shut down seven miles of the Cal-Sag Channel as an estimated 250 gallons of fuel flowed into a drainage ditch, with some making it into the waterway. This was reopened on 28 August. 14/08/12 Wisconsin, US Wittman A man was arrested after he threw a cigarette lighter at a jet fuel storage tank located at Regional Wittman Regional Airport terminal. Airport Police were alerted to the incident when they received a tip-off the 49-year-old had thrown something at a fuel storage tank. Police said they found the man drunk just after 3pm, while a cigarette lighter was later located next to the terminal’s fuel storage tanks. None of the tanks were damaged and police say there was no risk to public safety as the fuel itself was not exposed to the lighter, nor was it lit when it was thrown. The man was arrested for disorderly conduct and taken to the Winnebago County Jail. 17/07/12 Adenta, Sakora, Ghana

Ghana Armed An empty fuel tank became detached from a jet before falling to the ground. Forces The Ghana Armed Forces’ K8 jet fighter was one of two jets completing a training flight when its external fuel tank fell off and landed in the Sakora suburb of Adenta. A spokesperson at the Ghana Air Force says the fuel tank split into two before it fell from the craft; one half of it then crashed into the roof of a three-bedroom house, while the other section fell nearby on a playing ground. No one was injured. Realising he had lost a fuel tank, the pilot reportedly returned to the Air Force Base in Accra. 22/06/12 El Paso, US Biggs Army A man was found guilty of stealing government possessions and sentenced to two Airfield and a half years in prison. Tomas Hermann Quintero, from El Paso, pleaded guilty to organising a scheme in which he would steal aviation fuel from Biggs Army Airfield, estimated to be worth around $290,000 (€230,000). Under this scheme, Quintero and Luis Campos plotted to steal the aviation fuel between January 2007 and September 2010 and sell it on for use in gravel trucks. Senior US District Judge David Briones delivered the sentence after Quintero pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government property, theft of government property and one count of tax evasion earlier this year. Quintero was ordered to pay a $362,134 fine, while Campos was fined $318,328 and received a four-month jail sentence. 18/06/12 Kirkharle, Northumberland, It is feared the 27,000 litres of aviation fuel that leaked from an overturned tanker truck will UK have a significant impact on local wildlife. The accident left the A696 road closed for over 30 hours on 18 June. The large volume of fuel that escaped – two thirds of truck’s total load – means not all of it will be contained and traces of the fuel have already been discovered in the River Wansbeck, despite the use of trenches and absorbent booms to stop the fuel from travelling into local waterways. The agency says it is monitoring very closely the local stream which runs into the River Wansbeck as it is home to a huge population of native crayfish. 07/06/12 Hallen, UK A road in Hallen has been resurfaced after a jet fuel spillage. Around 1,000 litres of product leaked from a fuel tanker, which had not been securely closed after it stopped off to refuel. Fire fighters applied 20 tonnes of sand to the 200m stretch of road in Ison Hill to absorb some of the spilled jet fuel and prevent harmful vapours from escaping. According to the Environment Agency, a large tank (anti-pollution interceptor) collected most of the fuel that poured down a nearby drain, thus preventing any fuel entering the waterways. Nevertheless, a floating boom was put into a nearby stream as a precaution. A strong smell of fumes lingered in the area for some time after the incident occurred. The driver of the tanker called Avon Fire and Rescue Service at around 6.20am when he realised the vehicle was leaking. He had previously filled up the truck at Costain’s fuel depot nearby.

September 2012 17

The Fuelhandler vertical integration

Backward vertically integrated airline takes off in Pennsylvania D elta Air Lines has become the only world airline to engage in a ‘backward vertical integration’ with a petroleum refinery. A newly created subsidiary company, Monroe Energy, is the vehicle through which it is purchasing ownership of the ConocoPhillips Trainer refinery in Pennsylvania, and saving it from permanently closing down. Located on the Delaware River in Trainer, Pennsylvania the refinery is about 16km southwest of central Philadelphia. It has a crude oil processing capacity of 185,000 barrels of oil per day and processes mainly light, low-sulphur crude oil, which arrives at the refinery by tanker from Canada, and west and north Africa. The refinery’s facilities include fluid catalytic cracking, hydrodesulphurisation units, a reformer and a hydrocracker that enable it to produce a high percentage of transportation fuels, such as petrol, diesel fuel and jet fuel. Refined products were primarily distributed to customers in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey via pipeline, barge and railcar. Since September 2011 the refinery has been idle, and on the day that the contract was signed to bring it back into operation, 22 June, The Fuelhandler spoke to Eric Torbenson, a senior manager with Delta’s corporate communications team. Asked if this type of vertical integration had been a long term objective of the management, Torbenson replied: ‘The opportunity came about because of the weakness in the refining market and our interests in managing our fuel spending. What made the Trainer refinery particularly attractive to us was that it had transport assets; rail 18 SEPTEMBER 2012

and barge access, and pipelines. As a global airline with nearly 5,000 flights a day, we have seven hub airports, including two hubs in New York City: one at JFK and the other one at LaGuardia. Trainer’s fuel will be used mostly in our Northeast operations. ‘We also see a significant benefit in self-sourcing fuel in a region of the country where refining capacity is shrinking and demand for refined products is likely to rise as the economy recovers.’ The current capacity of the Trainer refinery is to produce 105 barrels per day of petrol and 65 barrels per day of distillates, the latter including aviation and jet fuel. One of the objectives Delta has is to increase the jet fuel output from 14% to at least 32% of the usable products, equal to 52,000 barrels per day. Torbenson confirmed that the refinery opened again on 4 July,

and that production started up in September. It is understood that the refinery will employ about 400 people, similar to operations under ConocoPhilips. Delta has acquired the refinery at what appears to be a bargain price of $150 million (€116 million) after a $30 million grant from the state of Pennsylvania for job creation and infrastructure improvements. The Delaware County Council has offered $1 million from gaming revenue to Monroe Energy for investment in pipeline improvements. Unlike most business transactions, Torbenson explained: ‘We are not out to make a profit [from the refining operation]. This transaction aims to capture the refining costs for jet fuel. Crack spreads to turn crude into jet [fuel] have recently run as high as $40 per barrel. Fuel is our fastest growing cost in the company, with annual

fuel expenses in 2011 of $12 billion. The crack spread is mostly pure refinery mark-up. It’s pure profit for the refinery, beyond actually cracking the crude into middle distillates. Instead of paying a refinery that profit, we will save that money, and expect savings will approximate to $300 million a year once we’re up and running.’ Torbenson confirmed that the output of jet fuel would service 80% of Delta’s domestic flights, but said, ‘we will still need considerable amounts of jet fuel the remainder of our operations and continue to work with our suppliers to meet those needs’. BP will continue to source and supply the crude oil and will, together with Phillips 66, take the refinery’s petrol and diesel output, crediting Delta with a combined total 120,000 barrels per day of jet fuel, which will be delivered where it is wanted. n

airport development The Fuelhandler

Jet fuel infrastructure updates Albany International Airport Location


Project details Project start date Investment

Colonie, New York, US


Maryville, Missouri, US

A new sealed storage tank for glycol used to de-ice aircraft


20,000 gallons


August 2012 (announced)

$3.14 million (€2.5 million)



Project details

Fifty-six new fuel hydrant systems and 18km of pipelines will be installed at the airport

Project start date

Completion date Investment

August 2012 2013

Rs36 crore



60,000 bpd eventually increasing to 150,000 bpd

Jet fuel

The refinery commenced operations again after being shuttered for nine months

Puma Energy and Chevron Location

Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

Project details

Puma Energy finalised a deal to buy Chevron’s Puerto Rico- and Virgin Islands-based fuel marketing and aviation businesses including an aviation fuel supply business


Completion date

Oil and aviation fuel

The deal was finalised in August 2012

Telluride Regional Airport Location

Project details


Completion date

Colorado, US

A variety of projects to improve airport infrastructure, e.g. erosion control, taxiway replacement and the construction of a de-icing pad


Bilinga, Queensland, Australia


4 million litres


Project details Project start date

Completion date

August 2012 (announced) End of 2012

$472,000 (€370,000) – 95% will come from government funding, with the reaming 5% from the city

Ohio, US

Project details

The airport is installing a jet fuel tank


Project start date

Completion date

Jet fuel

July 2012 (announced) End of 2012

$430,300 (€336,200)

Monroe Energy/Delta Air Lines Location

Philadelphia, US


165,000-185,000 barrels a day of crude oil, 52,000 barrels of which will be jet fuel


Crude oil

Project details Completion date Investment

Delta Air Lines acquired the Trainer refinery from Phillips 66 to reduce its fuelling costs

June 2012 (transaction completed). Delta Air Lines plans to be producing jet fuel at the refinery by Q3 2012 $180 million (€140.6 million)

Pekin Municipal Airport Location

Illinois, US

Project details

Replacement of fuel stations, including the installation of new pumps, filters and meters


Project start date

Completion date Investment

Jet A-1 and 100 low lead fuel

June 2012 End 2012

$188,000 (€150,000), 90% of which would be funded by the FAA

Horizon Terminals Location


Project details

Horizon is building a 60km pipeline that will transport jet fuel from the Jebel Ali Free Zone to Dubai International Airport. A new 141,000m3 tank farm for jet fuel storage will also be built


Jet fuel

Two new fuel storage tanks are being built at the airport

December 2012


$4 million (€3.3 million) from the FAA

Gold Coast Airport

A new fuelling system is being developed, which will include two 10,000 gallon storage tanks.

Medina Municipal Airport



Project details

Low lead aviation fuel and Jet A-1 fuel

Project details


Aden refinery Product



Kolkata Airport Products

Northwest Missouri Regional Airport

Project start date Investment

Jet fuel


$100 million (€78 million) SEPTEMBER 2012 19

The Fuelhandler profile

by Keeley Downey

Epic’s SVP of business development and strategy Steve McCullough tells The Fuelhandler magazine how huge changes within the general aviation industry are impacting the company and others like it

Extreme impacts T

hroughout the last decade major oil companies have pulled back from their downstream activities, including oil refining and marketing, and ploughed more investment into their upstream activities such as exploring for crude oils – those which provide higher returns for the shareholders. Less involvement in downstream marketing efforts means oil companies no longer own their own fuelling stations and are pulling back from general aviation and instead changing their method of distribution from a proprietary, capital-intensive model to one that is more capitallight where they can distribute through others who have already made the investment. Chevron Texaco pulled out of the direct supply market and chose to go through a distributor model, thus backing away from a direct presence in the market. And, in August 2011, ExxonMobil followed this scale-back trend when it decided to stop supplying general aviation fuels in the US. This withdrawal saw ExxonMobil disband its FBO network – Avitat – and cease its relationship with Western Petroleum, a subsidiary of fuel logistics company World Fuel Services. At the time of this announcement ExxonMobil emphasised the move applied only to its general aviation activities in 20 SEPTEMBER 2012

Epic: around for a long time to come

the US and would not affect its US-based commercial or military businesses.

Branching out The impact this industry shift is having on FBOs is pretty extreme but creates new opportunities for aviation fuel suppliers such as Epic, a Salem, Oregon-based aviation fuel supplier with primary operations throughout the US and Canada, including the Epic FBO Network and UVair FBO Network. Epic serves over 4,000 customers including airlines, cargo operators, business aviation flight departments, FBOs and resellers. ‘When major oil leaves the industry

FBOs are left without a supplier brand so they need to look to general aviation fuel specialists to provide them with a quality brand solution, consulting services, risk management and training products,’ Steve McCullough, senior VP of business development and strategy at Epic, says. Epic currently supplies fuel to over 600 airports across North America. It handles half a billion gallons of aviation fuels (Jet A-1 and avgas) annually, half of which is for the general aviation industry and the remainder for the commercial market. On the commercial side of the business, Epic supplies major airlines, while on the general aviation side it supplies primarily FBO

operators – from small to large, branded or unbranded. On 15 February this year, Epic terminated its licensing agreement with BP – whereas Epic operated as Air BP Aviation Services within the US and Canadian general aviation market. ‘The FBOs want the confidence that their fuel supplier brand is going to be around for a long time to come. We believe that branding ourselves as Epic, and not relying on another third party major oil company, provides that long-term confidence level from the FBO that we’re going to be in the general aviation business for years to come,’ says McCullough. All Air BP branded FBO locations in the US and Canada were immediately transitioned to Epic FBOs, with all rebranding completed by late summer.

China’s potential In addition to providing additional services to its FBOs, Epic says there is another advantage to its rebranding. According to McCullough, ‘our licensing agreement with BP was specifically for the US and Canada. Epic has recently had the desire to expand our operations internationally and in order to do that we need to have a brand that can

profile The Fuelhandler

be utilised in North America and internationally – we wanted a global presence’. After looking at opportunities in China throughout the past six years, the company recently partnered with China National Aviation Fuel Group (CNAF), a state-owned air transportation logistics company, for the development of the China Aviation Services Network – a supplier of facilities and services within the Chinese market. McCullough explains: ‘There’s no way we could have made this deal happen with CNAF if our relationship with BP still existed because they have a big global position. We determined that, in order to have the global consistency of our brand, we would have to develop our own brand.’ Epic’s Chinese affiliation is through CNAF Jet Service Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNAF, to be renamed CNAF Global Jet Service Company, which will be responsible for general aviation fuel, customer services, charter and aircraft management services at all of China’s airports. ‘The partnership will allow for us to jointly manage ground services operations for China on the general aviation side of the business,’ adds McCullough. In a statement released at the time of the announcement, Epic’s CEO said: ‘As China becomes the world’s fastest growing civil aviation market and the fastest growing population of millionaires and billionaires, China’s business-jet fleet is growing significantly – with forecasts for continued high growth. We are very pleased to partner with CNAF, the largest aviation fuel supplier in Asia, which serves over 190 domestic and international airlines at 160 airports across China. ‘We are drawing upon our respective and unique

strengths to tap the huge market potentials here and globally to bring our customers better benefits and comforts. China has embarked on an aggressive programme to open airspace, reduce access barriers and welcome business aircraft to a growing number of airports.’ McCullough tells The Fuelhandler magazine that Epic is ‘very bullish’ when it comes to creating a presence in China’s aviation fuel space and it wants to ‘play a major role in developing that region of the world’. ‘We think the partnership with CNAF aligns perfectly with our intent to become a player in the general aviation arena in Asia. It will provide a great base of operations for us and we think it provides a nice synergy with the US and we look to develop both of those businesses to leverage each other going forward,’ he adds. McCullough says Epic is now busy operating in both the North American and Chinese markets, buy is still looking at other development projects worldwide.

Standing out With such dramatic changes to the general aviation industry during the past years, Epic has been looking for ways to differentiate itself as a branded supplier of FBOs. McCullough believes the company has achieved this through its strategic alliance with the UVair Fuel Program to create ‘innovative’ programmes and services throughout the business aviation industry. One element of the alliance that McCullough says is sure to set Epic apart from its competitors is the introduction of the UVair FBO Network – a premier group of FBO locations which is comprised of selected EPIC FBOs that

meet strict criteria in terms of location, facilities and service. ‘We began talking with UVair two years ago about the formation of an alliance and how to work more closely together,’ McCullough highlights. ‘What emerged was the ability to take the UVair brand and develop an elite network of FBO facilities in major US and Canadian markets, typically those that have a lot of international inbound traffic.’ At the beginning of June the UVair FBO Network announced its first five members of this premier service: Edwards Jet Center in Billings, Montana; Stevens Aviation in Greer, South Carolina; Ambassador Jet Center in Dallas, Texas; Bizjet International in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Million Air Vancouver in Richmond, British Columbia. A further six were added in quick succession: Denver jetCenter in Englewood, Colorado; Napa Jet Center in Napa, California; Textar Aviation in Dallas; Grand Rapids Air Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Aero Air in Hillsboro, Oregon; and Gateway Aviation Services in Mesa, Arizona. A month later, four new members were named: Jackson Hole Aviation in Jackson,

Wyoming; and Jet West, Maguire Aviation North and Maguire Aviation South in California. On 15 August the network named its two latest members: Jet Source in Carlsbad, California and Jet Center Los Angeles in Hawthorne, California, bringing the total to 16. At time of press, The Fuelhandler magazine learned Californiabased Napa Jet Services had just finalised agreements to become the 17th location.

Focusing on the task in hand Epic experienced first-hand the impact of oil majors pulling back from their downstream activities when, in February 2011, BP North America sold its share in the company to its former joint venture partner Downstream Aviation. This sale gave Downstream Aviation full ownership of Epic. ‘For those who are committed and focused on the general aviation and commercial fuels industries, I think there are nothing but upsides as the majors continue to pull back their investments and invest more in the upstream side of the business,’ McCullough concludes. n

Epic has a ‘bullish’ approach to penetrating China’s aviation fuel space


The Fuelhandler Secondary containment

Advances in secondary containment technology


econdary containment is like a back-up plan. If the primary containment fails (typically a steel tank), then secondary containment is required to prevent contamination of the surrounding area, whether sub-grade or ground water. In most cases, secondary containment is a geosynthetic liner. These liners can be used under a tank, in the dike area around a tank, under a concrete slab or under and around a piece of equipment that has a fuel tank (portable generator, welding machines etc). Such protection is a must for airport fuelling systems, both commercial and military, petroleum and petrochemical tanks and even wastewater tanks. To install such a system it is important to have a proper design, competent installation personnel, correct materials for the job, proper testing equipment and of course a good quality control programme. In the last 10 years advances have been made in materials, seaming equipment, testing equipment and technician training. These areas are critical to a secure, cost-efficient secondary containment system.

or Petrogard X) under the tanks. Spray applied materials have been used primarily in smaller containment areas or areas with limited access and numerous penetrations.

HDPE: The earliest HDPE liners used pipe grade resins. Now geosynthetic resins, which are more flexible and can be seamed more efficiently, are becoming more popular. The manufacturing process has changed also. HDPE is now produced by either blown film or flat ide extrusion. Both processes produce a smooth consistent sheet of up to 25’ in width. HDPE has also added a Field seaming with wedge welder

efficient to install liners that are manufactured in wider rolls. Panels of up to 100-150’”diameter can be prefabricated. This means in a lot of cases, there will be no field seaming at all.

GCLs (Bentomat)

Materials Geosynthetic liners have primarily been HDPE (high density polyethylene), alloys (XR-5), Polyurethane’s (1932PTF) and spray applied materials (poly-urea’s etc). In recent years GCL’s (Bentomat) have been used by a few companies in certain applications. HDPE has primarily been used in commercial applications with petroleum, pipeline companies and storage tank companies. Most military and commercial airports projects have used alloys (XR-5 or Petrogard VI) in the containment area (with some HDPE applications) and Polyurethane’s (1932 PTF 22 SEPTEMBER 2012

Wedge welder

texturing process which allows for a rough surface, increasing friction angle and is not as slippery as smooth HDPE.

Alloys (XR-5) XR-5 is now manufactured in 100” wide rolls, wider by a third or more. This is a great advance as wider rolls mean less seaming. This is more cost-efficient as it reduces field installation time. Typically an alloy offers better long-term UV resistance and can be left exposed. This is also cost-effective, eliminating the need for a cover material

and also saves money on clean up if there is a spill. Another advancement is that a XR-5 embed is now available. This allows the liner to be attached with embed as opposed to batten (typically stainless), wedge anchors (typically stainless) and fuel resistant gasket. A seam to a poly-embed is more efficient and cost effective than a mechanical attachment using batten and bolts.

Polyurethanes (1932PTF) Polyurethanes are now manufactured in wider rolls too. As with XR-5, it is more cost

Major improvements on GCL’s have been that Claymax has been discontinued and replaced by Bentomat 200R. Bentomat does not require bentonite granules be placed between the seams to ensure a proper seal when hydrated. This allows for a more efficient installation by reducing the time to install. Also, GCL’s are needle punched, which restricts movement of bentonite granules during transportation and installation, thereby eliminating potential voids in the liner.

Spray applied Most improvements have been in the equipment to install the product. The resins are improved but the equipment, along with technician training, remains the biggest advancement in spray applied materials.

Secondary containment The Fuelhandler Other Smaller containment areas have also been introduced, with sophisticated electronic monitors. Systems such as the TRAPS and so-called tea cup designs are now available. These systems depend on the electronics and not large areas of lined containment. These have not been used in military and commercial airports to my knowledge. One other area of secondary containment that includes all the improvements above is temporary dikes. Temporary dikes can be used for portable generators, fuel tanks, fuel trailers, welding machines etc. These portable systems are now fabricated in large, one piece units. They use the latest and best materials, depending on the products to be contained. They can be folded up, along with bracing hardware, and shipped out within a day. These systems are easily erected by owner personnel and can be cleaned up after usage, folded up to be used again when the need arises.

Fuel terminal HDPE dike liner

Seaming equipment There are two types of seaming equipment for HDPE, Alloys and Polyurethane’s, fusion and extrusion (GCL’s and Spray Applied do not require seaming) welding. Fusion welding equipment, which is used to produce most seams, has greatly improved. The equipment is lighter and more compact, making for an easier installation. They are also faster, have better internal controls and are smarter. Old equipment ran from 10-12ft per minute. New models can now weld up to 30’”per minute. They do not break down as often due to better materials and design. They have a dual track welding system which allows for a dual seam with an air channel in the centre. This allows for air pressure testing. A seam can be tested faster than vacuum box, therefore reducing cost on the job. This test is superior to any other test available. The extrusion welders now available are far superior to the original welders. The new welders are, like the fusion welders, lighter, have better internal controls and weld faster. The new welders are also available in different models. These new welders are available in different sizes, different output of molten resin, etc. Basically there

Jet fuel terminal HDPE XR-5 dike liner

Extrusion welder

are welders available for different type jobs and situations. There are models for just repairing where high output is not required. There are models for high output, where production is critical. Early models of welders had a speed of 3-6” per minute. The speeds are now a lot higher, though speed is not a critical factor with extrusion welder. Testing equipment has also improved, though there are limited advances that can be made in this area. Air channel testing has been available for a number of years now. Improvements in this type of equipment have been minimal, but there are not a lot of parts to this type of equipment. Vacuum boxes are available in lighter more efficient models. Field tensiometers, used in pre-weld testing and field destructive testing, have made great strides. These units are readily available and also are lighter and more compact. They have better electronics and have easy to read gauges. Technician training has been one of the most improved areas of secondary containment (and primary also). Responsible installation companies have their own training programmes as do most geomembrane manufacturers. The biggest change in training has been through IAGI (International Association of Geosynthetic Installers). This organisation has a technician certification programme and also a company certification programme. Technicians who have IAGI Certification have undergone rigorous testing, both written and actual field welding. Responsible installation companies employ IAGI certified technicians, maybe not everyone but at least supervisory personnel. To summarise, all areas of secondary containment have been improved. These improvements have made the selection of materials and equipment easier. They have also made the selection of an installer easier as there are many items to looks at besides who has the lowest price. Overall selection of a secondary containment system should include proper materials, technician training, quality control programme and competitive pricing. n For more information:

Field tensiometer

This article was written by Robert Haddox, president of PLS Construction:


The Fuelhandler construction

Building storage tanks in Africa is not for the faint-hearted. One contractor explains the challenges it came across, and how these could be safely and efficiently overcome

Up for the challenge


nternational Air Transport Association (IATA) members are only just starting to discuss the effects and costs of fuel supply delays, with one major member citing 52 instances of refuelling delays at 15 locations in March of this year alone. UAE-based multi modal liquid logistics service provider Tristar has a delivery performance record of zero refuelling delays over a 12 month period in a less developed country encountering internal armed conflicts. Tristar has stored fuel in tank farms it constructed and fuelled 24/7 except during periods of extreme disturbance. Even then, the company was fortunate to only have one vehicle destroyed by mortar. Tristar made its first foray in Jet A1 operations with a turnkey fuel supply contract in Africa. The company had to start from scratch to build all the facilities needed to manage the customer’s fuel supply to the entire country. It had to build the infrastructure to import, store, distribute, dispense and account for approximately 60 million litres a year of ground and aviation fuels, providing retail and storage operations in 24 locations across an area approximately one-third the size of mainland US. Only 11,900km of roads were paved at the time and, by comparison, the US has nearly 6.5 million kilometres of paved roads. Tristar encountered numerous challenges while setting up operations to refuel aircraft at 15 remote locations in one of continent’s largest countries. Most locations were accessible only by tracks, with a mere 2,000km of tarmac roads available for supply operations. Unless air transport was used as an option, which was not 24 SEPTEMBER 2012

preferred, only the river running perpendicular through the country offered some potential. When the company reviewed the existing river operations it was quickly apparent that transporting

mode of transport, maintain the product’s integrity and ensure it reached its final destination. The total distance covered was 1,400km from loading in the vessel and another 2,600km from the initial port

of entry. Like any project, the final result had to deliver all the purchasing ‘rights’ in a textbook manner – the right product in the right place, with the right quantity, at the right quality and at the right time. The result was a solution that enabled Tristar to reduce its customer’s aviation budget for fuel deliveries to locations by 100% in its first year of operations alone. It also enabled Tristar to import Jet A-1 fuel and deliver it to its required location at an economic rate without loss of product, loss of quality or loss of time performance.

Coming back for more

A tank farm constructed and operated by Tristar in Africa

A few years later Tristar was awarded a second contract in another major African country by the same customer. This time the supply chain challenges facing Tristar were harder. The geographic area covered was slightly smaller at a quarter of the size of mainland US and the number of locations fewer at only six. Again, in one of the logistic corridors, Tristar opted for the river option. This time a low tech approach called for a river distribution system that could

River transport using pusher purposely designed with three hydraulic drive engines

Jet A-1 while maintaining the quality of the product was going to be a major problem. The facilities and transport options just did not exist. The company embarked on the process of constructing dedicated dumb barges and a pusher to address the issue. The focus was to be able to deliver Jet A-1 using a safe

Road transport using Iveco 6X6 Trakker vehicles

construction The Fuelhandler be dismantled to circumnavigate river hazards by land. Tristar commissioned a local company to build a pusher and barge system that could be dismantled and transported by truck and trailer around sections of the river that contained waterfalls or cataracts. The results were similar. In locations where fuel had to be previously supplied by air delivery only, Tristar was able to provide a solution that again provided the right product, in the right place, at the right price and at the right performance levels. Tristar was reasonably confident of being able to refuel aircraft at all locations across an area that exceeds the size of most major western European countries combined. But with less than 2,000km of road, and an increased level of armed disturbance, Tristar opted for another option.

Off loading a bulk aviation fuel tank from a B-727

Having a back-up plan Given the distances to be covered and the time performance required by the customer, Tristar needed a back-up that could only be achieved through using a solution that could be delivered through the use of aircraft. Most bulk fuel carrying aircraft are military aircraft. Most solutions that tackle carrying bulk fuel in aircraft are designed with the military in mind. There are one or two civilian options. However, these civilian options meant positioning dedicated or specifically modified aircraft and the costs involved were

Multi modal tank capable of meeting standards required by ADR, IMO and ICAO

extremely high. The option of using the aircraft fuel tanks themselves to ferry fuel was not open to Tristar as its customer had specifically ruled out this option. Bulk fuel tanks that could fit on a standard aircraft pallet of 88” x 125” can be loaded

Tristar travelled the roads, the rivers and the airways in Africa

into any locally available cargo plane and meet all civilian regulations on the carriage of dangerous goods. The project targeted the Boeing 727 as it is still the most common cargo aircraft in Africa. The final tank construction and design was a multi modal tank

capable of meeting standards required by ADR (carriage of dangerous goods by road and rail), by IMO (carriage of dangerous goods by river and sea), and also by ICAO (carriage of goods by air). Tristar successfully flew loaded tanks onboard a commercial Being 727 cargo aircraft, off-loaded them, discharged the Jet A-1 product inside and returned the empty bulk tanks to their point of origin in the way the designers intended. The flight was just to test the system worked and the company has yet to face the situation where they were used to avert performance failures. The completed tanks were certified by France-based inspection provider Bureau Veritas which Tristar chose because of the company’s strong presence in Africa, compared with some other certifying agencies. A great deal of effort was put in to get the tanks to be easily accepted in any country for bulk transportation of dangerous goods. The whole aim was to achieve bulk transportation by air under any conditions. It is possible to use 55 gallon drums and each decision is a case-by-case basis.

Transporting fuel the Tristar way In places like Canada, which is a good reference source for remote aviation operations, operators would not hesitate to consider drums. The whole support structure and integrity of the supply system as a whole means that one can afford to have more trust in drummed fuel stocks. In other places, it can be necessary to consider other options to guarantee fuel quality. In each instance, Tristar travelled the roads, the rivers and the airways of the countries it covered. The company benchmarked other companies and how they transported goods and more importantly how people in remote villages got their basic provisions. Whether it was a dug-out canoe with outboard engine carrying a bag of rice or a modern smart reefer with mesh technology that is transported by mammoth cargo barges on mighty African rivers carrying fresh fish, Tristar looked at all routes and methods of distribution. n SEPTEMBER 2012 25

The Fuelhandler biofuels

An enormous amount of work has been done to permit renewable jet fuel blends. Although these are big changes in terms of the jet fuel specification, it should be business as usual at the airport

A big change that may just go unnoticed O ver the past five to six years, there has been a tremendous amount of work in the fuel specification arena to approve new components for jet fuel. Up to September 2009 the jet fuel specifications mandated that it could only be manufactured from crude oil via conventional processing routes. The generic approval of FischerTropsch (FT) kerosene produced from natural gas, biomass or coal at concentrations up to 50% marked a major step forward. More recently, in June 2011, the approval of hydrogentated vegetable oils and fatty acids (HEFA) represented a further widening of scope for suitable sources and processing routes for producing jet fuel. Jet fuel specifications such as DEF STAN 91-91 and ASTM D 1655 represent the industry’s collective wisdom on what makes kerosene suitable for use as jet fuel. Many of the parameters have been added in response to problems over the years and the industry has built up a high level of confidence that, if a fuel meets the specification, it will be suitable for use. However, it must be said that there is a bit more to it than this. It is generally accepted that the specification cannot do it all. The industry recognises through experience that it is necessary that jet fuel must not only meet the specification but also be stored and handled using established facilities and procedures in order to ensure that it is not contaminated with other products or dirt and water. The reliance on previous experience is one of the key factors that automatically drives the fuel specification business to be very conservative. Any move 26 SEPTEMBER 2012

away from established practice needs to be tested thoroughly and not only for current engines and airframes. Aircraft tend to have long lifetimes and new fuel developments also need to be validated against the legacy fleet. Another important driver is that the fundamental principle of aircraft safety is that systems should either failsafe or, if that is not possible, they must be duplicated (or even triplicated!). Fuel is pretty well the only component that does

not failsafe and is not duplicated. Guaranteeing suitability for use is therefore absolutely essential when it comes to supplying jet fuel for commercial aviation. Viewed against the backdrop that the focus on flight safety creates, the progress that the industry has made over the past five or six years to approve new sources of hydrocarbons into the aviation fuel pool looks spectacular. And there is more to come as the next annex in ASTM D 7566 is already being worked

Quality assurance for new fuel components (this example shows a hydrogenated ester or fatty acid (HEFA) component).

on. D 7566 has been set up as the primary specification tool for introducing new fuel sources and processes. It allows the introduction of new components without having to change all the certification documentation for all engines etc. Annex 1 covers FT components and Annex 2 covers HEFA components. Both are allowed up to 50% concentration blended with traditional jet fuel. The 50% limit was adopted early on to take account of potential problems with low aromatic fuels and elastomer seals. Also, for many, the 50% dilution gives a warm feeling that underlines the change as incremental rather than revolutionary. So what does all this development and progress on the specification side actually mean for airports that fuel aircraft? Right from the beginning of the alternative fuels work there was a very clear decision by all the stakeholders that any new fuel had to be a so-called ‘drop-in’ replacement. This meant that there should be no requirements for special handling or infrastructure in the fuel supply chain or on aircraft. Commercial aviation is a truly global enterprise and consistency and standardisation are absolutely key for success. The upside of the drop-in requirement is that airports and airlines do not need to make any changes to cope with the new fuels. Through the approval process, the finished fuels that contain the new components have been shown to behave exactly the same as (or better than) those from traditional sources. As with all upsides, there is often a downside. In this case, the requirement for drop-in fuels has put more

biofuels The Fuelhandler demanding constraints on what sources and processes can be considered. A good example of this concerns vegetable oils as sources of renewable fuel. Biodiesel for automotive use is made from vegetable oils via a very simple and inexpensive transesterification process. However, the resulting Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) is not a hydrocarbon and could not be considered as a drop-in fuel for aviation. To convert vegetable oils into hydrocarbons, and thereby make them suitable as drop-in components for aviation, a hydrogenation process is needed. Unfortunately, this is a more complicated, capital and energy intensive process. While it is true that airports and fuelling companies will not need to make any changes to their infrastructure to handle jet fuel with these new components, there are aspects that need considering. For example, although many airlines will be keen to fly specific routes on a renewable jet fuel, most airports will not be able to segregate such a fuel and supply it to individual aircraft. The EU has already recognised this fact

and, for the purposes of the EU Emissions Trading System is allowing a ‘book and claim’ system that credits the renewable fuel usage via a paper trail rather than trying to count molecules coming from renewable sources. It is also important to note that the DEF STAN 91-91 specification (used as the basis for most Jet A-1 outside the US), does not allow the blending of jet fuel and the bio-component at airports. The blending is not restricted to just refineries (intermediate supply depots and terminals are fine), but it must be done before delivery to an airport.

Although they do not affect airports directly, there are some other requirements related to fuels made from these new fuel components that are worth noting. In particular, the FT or HEFA fuel component must be certified against the appropriate Annex of D 7566 and handled through the supply chain as if it was a certified jet fuel. This is primarily to ensure that the new suppliers and providers do not inadvertently introduce contamination into the supply chain. This could be particularly important for fuels components coming from the

agricultural sector where there is no tradition or experience of aviation fuel quality assurance. After waiting for many years, new jet fuels from non-crude sources are here and now. 2012 may well be the year that jet fuel containing GTL kerosene appears as new gas-to-liquid plants come on-stream. Jet fuels containing hydrogenated esters and fatty acids may also start appearing at some airports. However, volumes of renewable jet fuels will be very small at first because the current feedstock processing routes cannot produce large, sustainable volumes economically. Having said that, new feedstocks and processing routes are under development and there is no doubt that this is just the beginning. For some parts of the industry this represents incredible change but, if all goes to plan, at the airport it should be business as usual. n For more information: This article was written by Mike Farmery, Global Fuel Technical and Quality Manager at Shell Aviation


The Fuelhandler biofuels

The biojet fuels currently commercially available are not the panacea for sustainable aviation, at least for this decade

Still a long way to go


he total global carbon emissions contribution due to aviation accounts for approximately 2-3% of all anthropogenic carbon emissions, and this is projected to rise in the future as a result of increasing air traffic. The aviation industry is under increasing stakeholder pressure to reduce its carbon emissions, despite increasing demand for air travel. Carbon emissions reduction is one of the aviation sector’s biggest challenges today along with safety and security. Industry profits are at an all-time low due to high fuel costs, and the industry is under pressure to comply with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which requires aircraft operators to monitor and report verified data on carbon emissions arising from aviation activities on flights within the EU and all flights entering and departing from EU airports. The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) estimates that over a quarter of the operating costs for airlines is spent on fuel, and this proportion is likely to rise further as fossil fuel prices continue to increase in the future. Old aircraft are notoriously fuel inefficient, but commissioning new aircraft which are more fuel efficient is costly, and given the life of a typical aircraft is around 10-15 years, fuel and emissions reductions from advances in new aircraft and engine technology can take a long time to materialise. Aircraft cannot currently use alternative renewable energy sources available to other sectors such as wind, nuclear, solar or hydroelectric power, therefore airlines seem to only have a few short-term options to reduce their carbon emissions: offsetting emissions under the EU ETS, using a proportion of biofuels to replace fossil fuels, or rely on air traffic control and management measures to reduce their emissions. At present, the aviation industry seems to believe that the use of biofuels is the panacea for sustainable aviation through 28 SEPTEMBER 2012

carbon emissions reduction, and ambitious targets to reduce emissions are based on the planned increase in the use of biojet fuels in aviation in the next few years. But biofuels experts argue that this will not work, at least in the current context, for a number of reasons. First, the industry is faced with a number of supply chain issues. First generation biofuels with more established supply chains are not suitable for use as biojet fuel to power commercial aircraft (e.g. biodiesel freezes at higher temperatures and ethanol does not have the required density) and are largely believed to be unsustainable for a number of associated environmental and social issues discussed below. Certain crops such as Jatropha and Camelina, recently deemed suitable as feedstock for next generation biojet fuel production, are currently not widely grown (those suppliers that exist are small-scale). Limited availability of full scale biojet fuel production and refining facilities which could meet the stringent quality requirements for aviation fuel is also an issue, which results in higher production costs for next generation biofuels due to economies of scale. There is a need for large scale biojet fuel production facilities producing commercial quantities of fuel, which would eventually bring down the cost of biojet fuel. Regulatory uncertainty regarding the implementation

of the EU ETS, or similar international mandatory requirements to reduce emissions from aviation, makes it difficult to attract financing for largescale biojet fuel production facilities, and production is largely dependent on the price of oil. The certification process for aviation grade biofuels is also lengthy, adding to the problem of immediate biojet fuel availability. Globally, the aviation industry consumes around 1-2 billion barrels of jet fuel annually. Although a number of biojet fuel options have been explored in test flights and obtained certification in recent years including BioSPKs (bio-synthetic paraffinic kerosene) and HRJs (hydrotreated renewable jet), sustainable sources of biojet fuels are in short supply. A lot of R&D work on biofuels is focused on biodiesel and bioethanol supply for road transport and current governmental policies and subsidies also focus mainly on production of biofuels for road transport, though it is anticipated that this will change in the next decade. The demand for biodiesel (which has more established supply chains and which is cheaper and easier to produce than biojet fuel) from road transport is growing so rapidly that it is uncertain how sustainable feedstock supplies for road vehicles will be met, let alone find additional and more sustainable biojet fuel feedstock streams.

The aviation industry also requires very high quality and clean burning fuel, with stringent requirements on density, specific energy and combustibility, which means that biojet fuels need to be highly refined. There are other industries such as automotive and power generation (which can take biomass in its raw form – woody biomass or pellets for example) that can use biofuels in a cheaper form than biojet fuel, as far less refining or conversion of the biomass is required. This makes biojet fuels for aviation less cost competitive to produce than biofuels for other industries. Costs for biojet fuel are much higher (more than double for certain types of biofuels) than conventional jet fuels. Although the EU ETS mandates that carriers using EU airspace are required to buy allowances to offset their carbon emissions, it is anticipated that the cost of this will be relatively minor for the next few years compared to the additional price airlines would have to pay to use biojet fuels rather than conventional jet fuel. In order for the market to invest in biojet fuel production, biojet fuel sales prices would need to sustainably compete with those of fossil fuels. The second issue surrounding biojet fuel use is that current generation biofuels which are more widely available at present are associated with a range of social and environmental impacts which add uncertainty to their use as viable and sustainable biojet fuels. The longest established sources of biofuel such as edible vegetable oils have been associated with issues such as land-use replacement (i.e. arable land being used for biofuels production instead of food production, leading to food shortages and therefore increases in food prices), loss of biodiversity and worldwide destruction of forests. There is a need to identify fast growing, non-food sources of biojet fuels which do not need to be grown on productive arable land, and which have an

biofuels The Fuelhandler overall carbon footprint which is lower than conventional jet fuel. A number of next generation sources of biomass which would be cost competitive and could be harvested with minimal social and environmental impacts are under consideration, including jatropha, camelina and algae, however further studies are required on their viability as biojet fuel feedstock and uncertainty surrounding global production capacity implies these are unlikely to be available on a commercial scale in the next five to ten years. Certain initiatives which have been introduced recently to address the land-use issue include the ‘Low Indirect Impact Biofuels’ initiative in which DNV was involved along with WWF and a number of other organisations. This initiative is aimed at assisting stakeholders in identifying biofuels that were produced in a way that minimises the risk of indirect impacts. The Roundtable of Sustainable Biofuels Certification, which DNV is also involved in, requires a proven 50% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for a blend of biofuels, compared to fossil fuels and

allows organisations to trace the origin of certain biofuels along the entire supply chain. The third issue surrounding biojet fuel use is that biojet fuels will likely have to come from a variety of sources, with different geographical regions producing a range of biofuel crops dependent on particular climates, soil types, land availability and ecosystems. There is currently a lot of uncertainty surrounding the sustainability and lifecycle emissions criteria of biojet fuels, given the different feedstocks and production processes involved, and the industry does not have a standardized approach for the selection of sustainable biojet fuels. Given that biofuels are under consideration mainly for their ability to make aviation more sustainable, this is a vital issue. In the meantime, better air traffic management (ATM) procedures are likely to provide opportunities for improvement which could be deployed at a much faster rate and with lower associated costs. Compared to the long time scales associated with technological improvements and scaling up of next generation biojet fuel use, better ATM could

significantly cut emissions associated with aviation and in the much nearer future. The IPCC suggests that there may be over 10% inefficiency in global air traffic management, resulting in over 70 million tonnes of carbon emissions and billions of dollars in lost costs. Lack of international coordination on ATM measures, and less than optimum use of airspace have been identified by the IPCC as key issues. Measures such as reducing the taxiing time for aircraft, continuous descent approach instead of a stepped descent approach, reduced waiting time to land and shorter flight paths could help reduce emissions in the shortterm. However a key challenge to these measures is a lack of coordination and a fragmented approach across borders towards air traffic control. Europe’s Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) and the US’ Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) are examples of initiatives aimed at ATM based on traffic flows rather than national/state boundaries; however implementation has been slow and fragmented. A gradual transition towards

next generation biojet fuels, which could reduce carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel use, would be justified provided the issues identified above are addressed. Planned development of biojet fuel production and a coordinated approach from involved stakeholders would be required. Initiatives such as ‘Biofuel Flightpath’ are positive steps in this direction. The aviation industry has set ambitious targets to achieve carbon emissions reductions through the use of biojet fuels in the next few years. However high biofuel costs, uncertainty surrounding the regulatory framework, supply chain issues as well as associated environmental and social impacts make it unlikely that biojet fuels will deliver the promised carbon reductions within the desired timeframe. Continued research and development on next generation biojet fuels is important but this must be accompanied by implementation of other, more viable short term options for carbon reduction. n For more information: This article was written by Priti Nigam, senior consultant at DNV Kema

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The Fuelhandler Biofuels

The US military’s objective is to find efficient, affordable ways to decrease reliance on volatile foreign markets, but does the solution really lie in biofuels?

Is ‘friendly fuel’ really the answer? W

e buy too much fossil fuel from potentially, or actual, volatile places on earth,’ says US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. Volatile can frequently mean ‘hostile,’ so at a cursory glance it appears that getting fuel from stable, friendly sources would be a much-preferred option. Maybe, but it also would make sense to get the fuel from the most affordable, alternative source. The US Navy has selected biofuels as an alternative to reduce its consumption of petroleum-based fuels. Therefore Secretary Mabus set a goal to have biofuels provide 50% of the navy’s fuel for aircraft and surface ships by 2016. The US Air Force also has a similar plan for its domestic air fleet with a target completion also by 2016. In general, biofuels will supposedly provide relief to the military in three ways: 1. Reduce exposure to danger while transporting fuels in battle zones 2. Decrease dependence on volatile world oil markets 3. Restrict funding for hostile regimes and terror organisations.

Argument one: using biofuels in battle zones The first argument is the most specious. It is true that fuel transported to and through battle zones is both dangerous and costly. However, since biofuels will not be produced in battle, they also must be transported in identical conditions to petroleum-based fuels. In fact, the situation is likely to be 30 SEPTEMBER 2012

Using a different fuel source than oil, produced by unstable or unfriendly countries, may be a laudable goal worse for biodiesel and ethanol since those fuels have lower energy densities than their petroleum-based counterparts. The energy density of biodiesel is about 10% less than petroleum diesel, which means

there must be 11 convoys of biodiesel for every 10 convoys of petroleum diesel they replace. Replacing petrol with ethanol requires 50% more transport -15 convoys of ethanol for every 10 convoys of petrol.

This means that transporting biofuels in place of petroleumbased fuel will not only result in increased costs, but will also extend the amount of time troops must spend travelling through hostile battlefields.

Argument two: decreasing dependence on volatile world markets Replacing petroleum products – whose prices sometimes spike – with fuel sources whose cost is always higher than periodic petroleum spikes is a perverse sort of protection. Using a different fuel source than oil, produced by unstable or unfriendly countries, may be a laudable goal. However biofuels are not the only or the most obvious replacement fuel - they certainly are not the most affordable option. Indeed, very achievable expansions of oil production in the US could meet the targets of the biofuel programmes more quickly and cheaply than actually developing biofuels. The US military’s total petroleum (refined product) consumption is about 360,000 barrels per day with about 160,000 to 175,000 barrels going to air force jets. The air force’s target to use biofuels for 50% of its domestic jet fuel works out to 26,000 barrels per day of biofuel. There are single wells in the Gulf of Mexico that can produce 50,000 barrels per day. So, developing one more offshore well could provide nearly double the fuel of the air force compared to the goals of the biofuel programme for 2016. Why stop there? Thunderhorse, a single oil platform in the

biofuels The Fuelhandler Gulf of Mexico, which is fed by a couple of dozen wells, produces about 200,000 barrels per day - this is more than the total consumption of all air force jets. Though a single platform like Thunderhorse is a significant and expensive undertaking, it can supply fuel for 90% less than the $35 per gallon (€27 per gallon) price the air force currently spends on its bio-jet fuel. Finally, recall that the US military’s total consumption of petroleum-derived fuels is 360,000 barrels per day. That is barely a third of the oil that could be produced from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Producing that oil would require far less than 1% of the land in the reserve. And because ANWR is one of the nation’s ample resources, this option would assist the navy in its efforts to reduce dependence on volatile foreign countries. If the military’s objective is to find the most efficient, affordable mode to decrease reliance on volatile, foreign markets, tapping into our domestic sources of energy should be at the top of its list. Not only would increased domestic oil production achieve the navy’s goal quicker and more affordably, but there are still more costs to consider when discussing an increase in biofuels. For example, biofuels frequently displace crop production. Even crops like camelina, which might sometimes be planted on fallow land, can displace crops like wheat. This could cause food costs to increase and place a burden on all consumers. In short, biofuels also have environmental and global security costs.

Argument three: refraining from buying petroleum from hostile regimes The third argument for switching the military to biofuels is to reduce funding for unfriendly oil-exporting countries and

funding ultimately depended on oil revenues, Al Qaeda’s revenue would be about 0.001 of 1% of OPEC revenue. If the total US military consumption of petroleum were converted to biofuels – which would be an extraordinary

The air force’s target to use biofuels for 50% of its domestic jet fuel works out to 26,000 barrels per day of biofuel the terrorist groups these countries may support. Let’s hope the Pentagon has a better anti-terror policy than this one because switching to biofuels will be expensive and do little to de-fund terror. To put it into perspective, cutting US petroleum imports in half would reduce the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) revenues from $2.3 trillion to $2.1 trillion. Though hundreds of billions of dollars per year is a large amount of money, the remaining $2.1 trillion could fund nearly the same amount of mischief. It is estimated that Al Qaeda’s annual revenues around the time of the 9/11 attacks were $30 million per year and the cost of the attacks in the US were only $300,000 to $500,000. Al Qaeda’s funding was primarily from donors (witting and unwitting) around the world. Even if its

achievement – it would only reduce world petroleum consumption by less than 0.5%. This reduction would have a long-run impact on petroleum price of about 1.25%. Not only would an equivalent increase in domestic production of petroleum – instead of increasing biofuel production – lead to the same 1.25% drop in price, it would also be cheaper to achieve. This is because the US’ production cost for crude is on the order of $50 per barrel versus the cost of biofuels which can easily cost hundreds of dollars per barrel. There are other terror groups and state-sponsored belligerence that may, in large part, depend on oil revenues. However, it is unreasonable to contend that the military will ever entirely eliminate its petroleum needs. Therefore, the impact on petroleum price

is even less than 1.25%. If the push to biofuels degrades military capacity - either through harmful impacts on its budget or through any operational inefficiency brought on by the diversion of planning or other resources - the net effect on security would likely be negative. Not to mention in the event that savings could result from reducing dependence on foreign oil sources, this would not alter the fact that the US would still maintain a major military presence in the Middle East. Instead of its current strategy, the military’s energy policy should focus on improving mission capability, which could very well require costly technologies for energy efficiency. Biofuels are not likely to improve this capability because of their typically lower energy densities and high costs. Oil products may be expensive, but they are the least expensive option currently available. Forcing the military to purchase more expensive alternatives would leave fewer resources for training, modernisation, and recapitalisation, resulting is a less capable military. Increasing access to fuel and defunding oil-financed threats can be achieved more quickly and economically by increasing domestic petroleum production. Defense energy programmes should be geared toward meeting national security requirements, not commercial or political ones. n

For more information: This article was written by David W. Kreutzer, a research fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change at the Heritage Foundation,


The Fuelhandler BIOfuels

Alternative aviation fuels: recent successes and the plan forward


he airline industry is expected to experience sustained growth in the coming decades. In anticipation of this continued increase in air transportation activity, the industry has identified a number of goals to mitigate the associated environmental impact. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has established a target of carbonneutral growth by 2020 and 50% reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from 2005 levels by 2050.1 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has very similar goals, including no higher CO2 emissions in 2020 than 2005 and net reductions in the net climate impact from all aviation emissions over the long term.2 There are different means by which the industry can reduce its environmental impact. Three of the main levers available to the industry include:

• Improved aircraft and engine technology that continue the reductions in fuel consumption evident in each new aircraft and engine models • Improved operations from communication, navigation, surveillance, and other technologies that allow aircraft to operate as efficiently as possible • Alternative fuels with a lower environmental footprint than conventional fuels.

Potential benefits of alternative jet fuels Alternative fuels are an integral part of the industry’s strategy to achieve its environmental goal with respect to reductions of CO2 emissions. Alternative fuels made from biomass, plant oils, animal fats and other organic 32 SEPTEMBER 2012

materials can have a lower lifecycle CO2 footprint than conventional fuels. In addition, some of these alternative fuels can have additional environmental benefits, such as reductions in the emissions of particulate matter (PM). The economic and environmental characteristics of these alternative jet fuels will depend on the feedstocks, conversion technologies and logistics associated with their production and access to markets.

the industry has made it a priority to ensure that they perform at least as well as conventional jet fuel and that they are fully compatible with existing infrastructure, aircraft and engines. To meet this goal, the industry has established a stringent process through ASTM International to ensure that alternative jet fuels are certified and approved for use in aircraft. To date, two types of alternative fuels have been approved for use on commercial aircraft by ASTM

Two types of alternative fuels have been approved for use on commercial aircraft by ASTM International: fuels manufactured from biomass or fossil fuels using the Fischer-Tropsch process, and Hydrotreated Esters and Fatty Acid fuels produced from plant oils and animals fats Each technology has trade-offs and it is still too early to tell which one(s) will be most successful. It is likely that many pathways will become commercially viable and that the successful pathway or pathways will vary from place to place according to local conditions. Climate, geography, transportation infrastructure, state and federal support, and several other factors will play a role in determining the best solutions for different locations.

International: fuels manufactured from biomass or fossil fuels using the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process, and Hydrotreated Esters and Fatty Acid (HEFA) fuels produced from plant oils and animals fats. Both FT and HEFA fuels are certified as blends of no more than 50/50 with conventional fuel. There are currently other pathways for producing alternative fuels in the process of being certified by ASTM International:

Ensuring safety and performance of alternative jet fuels

• The Alcohol-to-Jet process that converts alcohols into fuels using well-understood chemical processes. Several promising approaches exist, including the synthesis

Regardless of how alternative fuels are produced and marketed,

of alcohol from carbon monoxide and modification of bacteria and yeasts to convert sugar into alcohols which can then be converted into alternative jet fuel, • The Fermentation-to-Jet technology that plans to use genetically engineered bacteria to convert sugars directly into alternative jet fuels, and • The Pyrolysis-to-Jet process that converts organic material under high temperature and little oxygen into “tar-like” crude bio oil, which is then converted into alternative jet fuel.

In addition to ASTM certification, the industry is conducting extensive trials of alternative jet fuels. In addition to single demonstration flights, there are a number of initiatives aimed at demonstrating the technical viability of alternative fuels on scheduled commercial flights. Last year, Lufthansa operated 1,187 commercial flights between Frankfurt and Hamburg using a 50/50 blend of conventional and alternative fuel in one engine. The biofuel was produced by Neste Oil from a series of different feedstocks including camelina, jatropha and animal fats. The airline used an Airbus A321 aircraft and estimated savings of approximately 1,471 tonnes of CO2 from using the alternative fuel mixture. Furthermore, extensive testing during and after completion of the flight campaign revealed no abnormal wear and tear or significant differences in the performance of the engine flown with the alternative fuel compared to operations with conventional jet fuel. From a fuel handling perspective, test results showed no problems in fuel characteristics, including no separation between the alternative fuel and the conventional

renewable fuels The Fuelhandler blendstock and no significant microbial contamination. In the US, Alaska Airlines launched a programme with 75 commercial passenger flights to test the use of alternative fuels.4 The flights started in November 2011 and consisted of one daily flight between Seattle and Washington DC with Boeing 737 aircraft (11 total) and six daily flights between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, operated by Horizon Air, Alaska’s sister carrier, using Bombarier Q400 aircraft. The flights used a 20% blend of alternative fuel made by Dynamic Fuels from cooking oil. It is estimated that the 75 flights would lead to a reduction of 134 tonnes of CO2 compared to conventional jet fuel. In April 2012, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), UOP (a Honeywell company) and Agrisoma Biosciences announced a flight test programme designed to investigate the performance of carinata, a new biofeedstock especially designed for the production of alternative fuels.5 According to the details of the programme, the fuel will be produced by UOP from the carinata oil. The flights will test mixtures higher than the 50/50 blends of alternative fuel and conventional jet fuel used thus far in demonstration flights around the world. Furthermore, the Falcon 20 twin-engine jet will be followed by a trailing aircraft to feature in-flight collection of aircraft emissions.

Advancing the implementation of alternative jet fuels The FAA, through its Continuous Lower Emissions, Energy and Noise (CLEEN) programme and the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuel Initiative (CAAFI), has established a comprehensive programme to help advance the development and introduction of alternative aviation fuels through a series of contracts administered by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) John A. Volpe Centre.6 The overall objective of the programme is to advance the state of knowledge to facilitate the implementation and market introduction of alternative jet fuels. This programme is divided in four sections: 1. Future Alternative Aviation Fuels: aimed at developing,

delivering and accomplishing thorough specification and fit for purpose testing of novel alternative fuels 2. Jet Fuel Quality and Performance Control: intended to ensure that any unique quality control requirements of alternative jet fuels are incorporated into existing jet fuel quality control practices to avoid any ‘quality turnbacks’ 3. Alternative Jet Fuel Sustainability Evaluation Report: targeted at researching and evaluating sustainability rating systems that could be adopted for alternative aviation fuels 4. Performance and Durability Research of HEFA fuels: directed at generating the additional data needed to further characterise the performance and long-term effects of using HEFA fuels. The output of these four research areas is expected to accelerate the introduction of alternative jet fuels by advancing additional production pathways and by ensuring that essential elements of fuel handling practices and sustainability evaluation are in place. In particular, the development of quality control practices that address possible gaps in existing industry norms is intended to allow a smooth transition to situations in which alternative jet fuels become a significant portion of the fuel pool While no significant challenges have been identified, it may be necessary to update testing protocols and data reporting practices which may take some time for widespread adoption. Furthermore, it will be necessary to educate potential producers that may not be familiar with jet fuel quality control on the recommended practices of the industry. Another important area that this programme covers is that of sustainability evaluation and reporting. This is by no means an easy task as there are many factors that determine the environmental, economic and social impacts of alternative jet fuels. In addition, some of these impacts are difficult to quantify and, even if they can be measured, the required data may not be available or it may be hard to obtain. Therefore, guidance with respect to which criteria and systems should be considered in the development of standards to evaluate the sustainability of alternative fuels is of critical importance especially

for potential consumers concerned about the environmental, economic and social attributes of the fuel. At the same time, this guidance is also very important for potential feedstock and alternative fuel producers that want to manufacture fuels that meet the sustainability criteria expected by the market place.

introduction of commercial-scale quantities of alternative fuels in the not so distant future. Many technical and economic challenges still await the commercial-scale development of alternative fuels, but steady progress continues to be made by an industry accustomed to making the impossible possible. n For more information:

Future outlook Alternative jet fuels are an integral part of the aviation industry’s strategy to reduce its environmental footprint even as air transportation activity continues to grow. Significant research and investments by public and private entities alike in the past few years have demonstrated the safety and technical feasibility of alternative fuels for use on aircraft. Recent and on-going efforts are targeted at demonstrating the viability of these fuels for use on regular scheduled commercial flights. These investments are preparing the way for the

This article was written by Bruno Miller of Metron Aviation, [1] facts_figures/fact_sheets/ pages/carbon-neutral.aspx [2] nextgenAndTheEnvironment.pdf [3] about-us/social-responsibility/ fly-green/fly-green.aspx [4]

[5] Pages/Honeywell-Green-JetFuel%E2%84%A2-to-Power-FlightsUsing-New-Biofeedstock-SpecificallyDesigned-for-Biofuel-Production.aspx [6] releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=13254

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inspection The Fuelhandler

Aviation fuel facilities are regulated for fire safety, environmental protection and fuel quality – none of which can be ignored

Minimum standards


viation fuel facilities are a critical component of air travel infrastructure. Commercial airlines, cargo transporters and private pilots rely on the safety and reliability of fuelling facilities. At large commercial service airports, facilities can store tens of millions of gallons of flammable and combustible liquids, and have a daily throughput in the millions of gallons. Some facilities transfer fuel at flow rates exceeding 10,000 gallons per minute at pressures measured in the hundreds of pounds per square inch. With these flow rates and pressures, the risks are great. Regulations and standards are issued to ensure flight safety and to protect property, human health and the environment. Fire safety codes are developed by entities such as the International Code Council (ICC), which reference industry standards such the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Codes are then adopted as state laws. Fuel quality standards are established by ATA Specification 103, which is now issued by Airlines for America (formerly Air Transport Association), and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with issuing codes for the protection of human health and the environment.

Fire code standards The 2012 International Fire Code (IFC) has three chapters specific to aviation fuel facilities and four when fuel is dispensed from storage tanks directly into aircraft. Fire safety codes establish standards relative to fuel storage and handling. As there is a risk of fire from fuel spills, codes dictate minimum clearances between tanks, property lines, public ways, buildings, loading/unloading

Each fuel system must have a means for quickly and completely shutting off the flow of fuel in an emergency

vehicles and dispensing equipment. To prevent spills, fire codes require storage tanks to be equipped with overfill prevention equipment and secondary containment. In the event of a spill, fire codes require drainage controls to direct a spill away from persons and property and toward a location designed to safely manage the spill. Fire protection systems, including portable fire extinguishers, are also specified in fire codes. New in 2012, the IFC states that a fixed fire-extinguishing system may be required for vertical, atmospheric, fixed roof tanks greater than 50,000 gallons in capacity storing Class I liquids (e.g. aviation gasoline) if located in a congested area. A critical element for fire safety is minimising static electricity. This is accomplished by several code-required measures, including bonding of equipment during fuel handling operations to eliminate the difference in electrical potential generated from the flow of fuel. NFPA 407 requires airport fuelling systems to incorporate a 30-second relaxation period

between the filter/separator and storage tank. This is typically accomplished via a relaxation chamber.

Fuel quality standards The intent of fuel quality standards issued by ATA 103 and NATA is to minimise the introduction of contaminants or unacceptable fuels delivered into aircraft. What is paramount is that jet fuel must meet the specification and purity standard of ASTM D1655. This is accomplished by requiring certain standards for equipment and establishing regular inspections. ATA 103 equipment standards include floating suction assemblies, epoxy lining of steel storage tanks and filter separators. Floating suction systems withdraw fuel from the top of the liquid level in the tank. This is desired because water and sediments are heavier than jet fuel and will settle to the bottom of the tank. Tanks are lined with an epoxy coating system to negate corrosion. Filters/separators are required when transferring

Filter separator differential pressure must be checked and recorded on a daily basis

fuel in and out of storage to remove water and particulates. ATA 103 and NATA also establish fuel facility checks to maintain fire safety and fuel quality. These include daily, monthly, quarterly, semiannual and annual inspections. Inspections range from daily checks of the facility for general conditions (leaks, vandalism, etc) to annual storage tank interior inspections.

Environmental standards EPA regulations applicable to aviation fuel storage tanks include the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule and the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Rule. These regulations establish standards for tank construction and require secondary containment, overfill prevention, and a means to monitor tanks for leaks. To ensure integrity, the EPA requires fuel storage tanks to be regularly tested consistent with industry standards. The EPA also requires appropriate security and lighting of fuel facilities SEPTEMBER 2012 35

The Fuelhandler inspection to prevent vandalism and to facilitate response to spills, and preparation of SPCC Plans.

Regulations and standards are issued to ensure flight safety, and to protect property, human health, and the environment

Inspections Inspections are critical to minimise the risks associated with aviation fuel facilities. Most owners/operators are already familiar with the scope and frequency of ATA 103 and NATA inspections. They are also likely to be familiar with the routine inspection requirements specified by the environmental regulations for aboveground storage tanks (e.g. inspect tanks and piping for signs of deterioration, discharges, or accumulations of oil inside diked areas) and USTs (leak monitoring, cathodic protection, etc). However, there are other environmental and fire safety inspection requirements that are not as well known and are often overlooked.

ATA 103 requires all fuel hoses to be inspected daily (for damage and leakage), and pressure tested on a semi-annual basis. The fire code however, in addition to daily inspections, also requires a more thorough inspection of hoses on a monthly basis, including pressure testing. To ensure fuel quality, ATA 103 and NATA require storage

ATA 103 requires the following inspections: 1. Daily a. General conditions of fuel yard b. Security, fire, and safety features c. Tank and filter sumps d. Filter differential pressure e. Bonding system f. Hoses, swivels, etc. g. Static reel assembly h. Fire extinguishers 2. Monthly a. Millipore and free water b. Corrected filter differential pressure c. Bonding system d. Nozzle screens e. Signage f. Floating suction assembly g. Fire extinguishers 3. Quarterly a. Emergency fuel shut-off system (operational check) b. Water defense (external) 4. Semi-annual a. Hose pressure test 5. Annual a. Storage tank interior b. Filter differential pressure gauges c. Filter elements d. Filter/separator heater e. Tank vents f. Cathodic protection system g. Line strainers h. Water defense system i. Emergency fuel shut-off system (test each device) 36 SEPTEMBER 2012

tank interiors to be inspected annually for cleanliness and for the condition of the epoxy coating system. This is typically accomplished by taking the tank out of service, rendering it vapour free, then entering the tank to clean interior surfaces and visually inspect the condition of the epoxy coating. Fire and environmental codes require storage tanks to be regularly checked for integrity to ensure the structural strength of the tank. Integrity checks must be performed consistent with industry standards, which are typically American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 for field-erected tanks and Steel Tank Institute (STI) SP001 for shop-fabricated tanks. One recent STI inspection of a double-wall aboveground storage tank found an interstitial space emergency vent had been improperly modified with a hole cut into the primary storage compartment. This modification compromised the secondary containment and if the tank were exposed to fire, pressure would have been directed into the primary product compartment instead of being released to the atmosphere. One inspection that must not be overlooked is the US Code of Federal Regulations Part 139 requirement for FAA-certified airports to inspect other fuelling agent’s fuel facilities every three months. (Note: Part 139 requires the FAA to issue airport operating certificates to certain airports). An airport may not own or operate a tenant’s fuel facility but, as the property owner, the airport has potential liabilities from such facilities, including exposure to fire, soil or groundwater contamination, and public perception. It is also important to look closer than what may be specified on an inspection form.

A pump and motor assembly may not appear to have any problems when idle, but when running could vibrate or be excessively noisy, which may indicate a loose mounting system. Such a scenario could lead to misalignment, high-pressure leaks or even sparks that could ignite.

Streamlining the process To minimise risks and ensure compliance, there are three strategies that can streamline the inspection requirements specified by fire safety, fuel quality, and environmental protection entities. 1) Consolidate: The first strategy is to consolidate the inspection requirements and incorporate the most stringent. In the case of fuel hose inspections, in addition to daily inspections, perform more thorough monthly inspections that include pressure testing. With this approach, the semi-annual hose pressure test required by ATA 103 will be satisfied. 2) Facility maintenance programme: Secondly, employ a facility maintenance programme (FMP), a software programme designed to issue work orders for immediate repairs as well as regularly scheduled maintenance. In addition to the familiar inspections specified by ATA 103 and NATA, FMPs can incorporate other less known or more stringent fire and environmental inspections. 3) Compliance binder: The third strategy is to prepare a compliance binder to store documents required by regulatory entities. Binders should include tank registration certificates, tank inspection reports, record drawings, and other inspection-related items. While codes can sometimes seem burdensome, they ensure flight safety and protect property, human health and the environment. Navigating through the codes can also be challenging. However, these strategies to help owners and operators minimise risk and ensure compliance. n For more information: This article was written by William Frye, senior project engineer with the C&S Companies, www.,

tanks under fire The Fuelhandler

At the beginning of June the website of Wars in the World reported that 59 countries were engaged in wars involving 337 militias-guerrillas and separatist groups. A frequent target of these groups is the petroleum products stored in shell tanks and pipelines; and during delivery by road tanker

Petroleum products under fire Source: Hesco Bastian Ltd


Protected compound

Hesco product as ‘similar to Lego bricks in various sizes that can be combined in unlimited ways, providing different permutations and combinations, so one can build walls and barriers’. ‘Essentially they are gabion baskets [from the Italian gabbione, meaning ‘big cage’] with a unique fabric liner. The basket is filled with whatever material is to hand, although obviously some fillings are better than others. The baskets are put on the ground, assembled and filled with earth, sand, gravel, rocks or stones,’ Pickup says. ‘Sometimes it is necessary to transport materials to the site. The geotextile liner is made especially for Hesco. It is very durable, resistant to the sun, abrasion resistant, and permeable, which retaining the fill material, so if it rains continually, the basket doesn’t fill with water.’ The 2012 version of the MIL range is delivered to site as a palletised flat pack and, rather than having to be demolished at the end of its service as previous versions were, is easily recoverable. By removing a corner pin it opens, allowing access

to recover the fill material. The empty barrier is folded flat and can be removed, repatriated or disposed of environmentally. Pickup confirms that the product can be assembled to provide the height necessary to protect shell storage tanks. ‘Height can be achieved by building the structure in the pyramid fashion. We have special load bearing units which can take up to 4,000lbs per linear foot (5953kg/m). One puts the bigger units on the base and smaller units on top as the wall grows in

height, and we have built units over 15ft high. Experience has shown it is necessary to build the structure on a base width to height ratio of about 2:1 to achieve stability; but it depends on the ground conditions on which it is being constructed. ‘One of the things that the product is commonly used for is building perimeters and entrances to military camps or humanitarian organisations, and are also used to construct chicanes or big entrance systems to prevent unauthorised access for vehicles,’ he adds. Pickup was surprised that they were not being adapted to protect the long lines of road tankers and container trucks that are being attacked by the Taliban in Pakistan. ‘Using the MIL units they could create a system of lanes within which the vehicles could park,’ he says. The lanes could be built sufficiently wide for the tankers to park four or five abreast, with an entrance just wide enough for one truck to get out at a time. A chicane or twist in the road would ensure that anybody looking through the entrance would not get a clear sight of the parked vehicles. While there is nothing Source: HIT

he war in Afghanistan has proved to be particularly expensive in the loss of life to tanker drivers and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force cargos. Around 100 tankers set off daily from the two supply routes into Afghanistan from Pakistan, one crossing the Khyber Pass to the Afghan border town of Torkham and on to Kabul; the other through the border town of Chaman, the link road between Quetta, Balochistan Province and Kandahar in the south of Afghanistan. In 2011, around 230 tankers, each containing 45,000 litres of fuel, were destroyed by explosives or small-arms fire according to the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, India. Since WWII, when petroleum tanks tended to be underground and hidden from view with earth mounds, sandbags and concrete covers, the power and sophistication of small-arms weapons has increased. The concept of the suicide bomber has introduced a further devastating element in current conflicts that requires a solution. A UK-based company, Hesco Bastion, is supplying a range of rapidly deployable and recoverable protection barriers that it developed from its Concertrainer unit, originally designed to combat coastal erosion. Mike Pickup, a chartered engineer and Hesco Bastion’s programme manager and force protection engineer, has specialist knowledge of blast and ballistic protection. During his 18 years in the British Army he was deployed, among other places, in the Iraqi and Afghan conflict zones. He described the

Effect of a bullet on BattleJacket coated tank (right to left) external view, internal view


The Fuelhandler tanks under fire U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick W. Mullen III

Seabeas opening a Hesco barrier for a project at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan

that would physically prevent a person from going up to and over the wall to destroy the truck with explosives, it would stop someone from shooting at it from a distance using for example a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG). ‘A correctly-built Hesco Bastion wall gives double protection’, Pickup says. ‘Firstly, it protects the road tanker or storage tank from small-arms and RPG fire, as well as impact from fast moving vehicles or vehicle borne improvised explosives devices. Secondly, if the target is hit, it helps to contain the explosive force within the barrier, and limits the harm to people and property outside the barrier.’ The Concertainer units have been approved to both US and British impact tests. To receive the highest US Department

of State ASTM H50 rating, a 65,000lb (29491kg) vehicle travelling at 50 mph (80kph) must impact the barrier at a 90 degree angle without the bed of the truck breaking through the barrier. A comparable assessment is provided by the British PAS 68 rating. Since the early 2000s the results of R&D into new materials that started a decade earlier began to appear in the conflict zones. Known as smart materials or self-sealing polymers, the US company High Impact Technology (HIT) has been supplying its BattleJacket Fuel Cell Containment System (FCCS) to the military for its petroleum road tankers. A bullet passing into the fuel tanker is unlikely to cause the contents to explode; conflagration only


U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael B. Lavender

Seabees building a gabion protective barrier in Afghanistan

occurs when the hydrocarbon liquid spouting from the hole is ignited. BattleJacket FCCS reacts immediately to reduce the outflow of fuel from the hole to a dribble, before blocking it entirely and minimising the potential for a serious incident. The BattleJacket FCCS comprises three layers of sprayed elastomer applied to the outside of the petroleum road tanker. The inner coat is sprayed directly to the surface of the metal to create a tight bond with the tank, thereby preventing any creep of fuel in the event of a leak. The middle layer is a composite coating containing Micro Expansion Beads that swell rapidly on contact with a hydrocarbon product, and within seconds closes the hole caused by small-arms fire or shrapnel. The topcoat is a hardwearing layer with an elastic elongation capability of 350% before breaking. It has a Shore ‘A’ hardness of 85, and a tensile strength of 2,800 psi (19,306 KPa). After application the topcoat shrinks by about 1%, compressing the structure; a feature that prevents swelling from the middle layer migrating to the outside of the tank, where it is forced by the pressure of the petroleum cargo released when a hole appears in the tank. Operations director Russ Monk says that the company works with a number of urethane and urea formulators, although the product and process are the intellectual property of HIT. Monk explains: ‘We ask the purchaser a lot of base questions. Where will it be used? What is the nature of

the threat? What is the product inside the container? What is the pressure of the product? Then we tailor the coating formulation to suit the actual requirement or performance standards needed. The specific thickness of the total coating varies between 7.5mm and 25mm, and is dependent on the tank material, the shape of the tank, and the ballistic threats. The solutions have been proved by trialling and testing.’ An automated system to replace the original hand-spraying of the tanks was developed after HIT was awarded a research grant from the US Department of Defense’s 2008 Industrial Base Innovation Fund. The money resulted in a specialised process using a closed-in spray booth with unique equipment, which reduced the time taken to completely coat a fuel trailer from 20 hours down to eight. A mobile spray-application facility has also been developed, enabling the process to be taken to any location, and BattleJacket FCCS has been applied to tanks in Kuwait, Iraq, Taiwan, Canada, Germany and England. ‘Most applications of BattleJacket FCCS have been to rigid road tankers and semitrailer tankers, however the technology is also suitable for marine oil tankers, rail tank cars and infrastructure equipment such as shell storage tanks and pipelines. Proper preparation of the tank surface is very important to ensure the initial bond. Once we know where the coatings are going to be applied, we can provide products that are suitable for use in that environment; humidity is not a problem. The coatings dry within four seconds of application,’ Monk adds. He concluded by saying that the BattleJacket FCCS is a passive system: ‘It just sits there and waits. The chemistry is engineered to react only when the bullet goes through the tank. Apart from ballistic protection, the product offers excellent anti-corrosion performance as it totally excludes oxygen from the metal surface, and dramatically extends the life of the tank. ‘It also has exceptional performance as a blast and shock mitigating material, which enhances the structural integrity of whatever vessel it is applied to, as well as providing an intimate and homogenous secondary containment system. This can save both weight and expense in applications

tanks under fire The Fuelhandler

APFC in front-line use in Afghanistan Source : HIT

Tank spraying trolley

distribution industries. The team’s role is to secure, repair and maintain fuel supplies to ensure that essential military and civilian needs are provided. The second team, 516 STRE, has responsibility for design, construction supervision, commissioning, reparation, maintenance and decommissioning of temporary military petroleum installations. Its main task is to build a bridgehead bulk petroleum

storage facility using flexible low profile pillow tanks that are supplied in roll form. Set on flat ground, a tank is unrolled on top of a ground sheet and an impermeable liner that protect it from rocks and debris. Together with the bund wall, they prevent environmental damage should the tank be punctured and the fuel escape. Pillow tanks, typical of those manufactured by MPC Containment Limited of Chicago, are available from 3,000 to 210,000 U.S. Air Force photo – Staff Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

The criteria to pass the BEA were for the tank to move by less than 2” and the primary tank to remain intact. The BEA indicated that the ConVaultAST successfully resisted the effects of the blast loads, and separate exposure to a two-hour liquid pool fire test undertaken by Underwriters Laboratories. When the military forces of powerful nations are involved in external conflict zones, they employ specialist teams to maintain and repair the area’s petroleum infrastructure, and to import and distribute fuel to meet the needs of its troops. Within the British Army’s Corps of Royal Engineers there are two specialist petroleum teams, both voluntary Territorial units. The first team, 503 STRE (Specialist Team Royal Engineers), recruits technicians, designers and professional engineers from the fuel production and

Source: UK Ministry of Defence

traditionally accustomed to double-walled systems, and can be optimised to accommodate for vessel head pressures.’ The ConVault Aboveground Storage Tank (ConVault AST) provides protection from fire, vehicle impact and projectiles. They are more suitable for installation in small enclaves of dwellings or industrial units, rather than for the bulk storage and distribution of fuel. Delivered as a single unit for installation directly on a concrete plinth, the storage tanks are available in stepped volumes from 1,000 litres to 45m3. The primary steel tank, including a spill containment basin, is fabricated in accordance with UL 142 and 2085 for aboveground tanks, while a 6” thick concrete shield provides secondary liquid containment, prevents fire and heat from reaching the tank, and a non-corrosive durable exterior. A Blast Effects Analysis (BEA) was conducted on a 2,000 gallon (7,570 litre) tank, which was used as representative of a typical ConVault AST. The tests were conducted by Karagozian and Case, blast consultants from Burbank, California.The tests covered three scenarios : (1) a blast from a vapour cloud formed by an explosive pressure of 10 psig, typical of that which could occur at a refinery (2) a blast from 50lbs of high explosive at 5ft, as might result from a suicide bomber (3) a blast from 500 lbs (226.8 kg) of high explosive at 20ft, to represent a typical car bomb.

Airmen unfurl a new pillow tank at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

gallons and fabricated from a synthetic coated fabric, to US military standard Mil-T-52983. Inlet, outlet, vent and drain connections are provided to the client’s specification. The tanks are hooked up to hoses, pipes, filters and pumps. Bund walls are usually constructed from earth however, and Pickup, who was commanding officer of 516 STRE during his military service, says that he has many times seen US forces stretch out a liner and use Hesco MIL units to form the bund, with smaller units often within the wall to hold down the liner: ‘It is a quick method of building the wall, especially where earth is not readily available.’ Depending on the location of the bulk storage site, it might be fuelled by pipeline, road tanker or from the sea. Responsibility for the handling, supply and storage of bulk fuels from ship to shore, and front line combat conditions falls to the 383 Commando Petroleum Troop, part of the Royal Logistic Corps. At the beginning of this year British troops in Afghanistan took delivery of Mark 5 Air Portable Fuel Containers (APFC), each capable of holding two tonnes of fuel. The 1.37m diameter balloon-like containers are designed and built in the UK by GKN Aerospace, with the latest version being 25% lower in weight, and 30% lower in cost than previous generations of APFC. The inclusion of Kevlar, in the polyurethane compound paint that is sprayed on a nylon mesh, keeps the fuel protected from enemy fire. Slung in pairs under a helicopter or transported in the back of an aircraft, the APFC can be dropped from heights of up to 7.62m or parachuted into location. It can be towed behind a road vehicle for up to 16km. The current reliance on physical barriers will continue to be the major form of defence against small-arms fire, improvised explosive devices and car bombs for many years to come. During the next decade however, the development of anti-ballistic protection for petroleum storage tanks, pipelines and distribution vehicles, through the application of nanotechnology, polymer engineering, fibres and composite materials, promises to produce interesting and effective advances. n SEPTEMBER 2012 39

The Fuelhandler page heading

TAnk STorAge



ThE LEADING EvENT For ThE ASIAN TANk STorAGE SECTor Consisting of a two-day Conference and Exhibition, Tank Storage Asia provides the opportunity for terminal operators, traders, regulators as well as equipment suppliers to come together to network and do business in this vital region.

The exhibition provides an excellent sales and marketing platform for manufacturers and suppliers of everything from tank design, construction and maintenance, through to innovations in automation, certification, inspection, loading equipment, metering, measuring, pumps and a lot more.

The Conference will attract terminal and pipeline operators, as well as traders, analysts, regulators, renewable energy producers and technical expert. They will come together to discuss the key issues impacting the sector.

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For more information on exhibiting at Tank Storage Asia, please contact: SharÊ Mason – International Sales & Marketing Manager T: +44 (0)20 8843 8819 F: +44 (0)20 8892 1929 E: 38 SEPTEMBER 2012

safety The Fuelhandler

A fuel leak at Mitchell International Airport in February has sparked a closer look at monitoring technology

Preventing a fuel leak


irport safety is an ever increasing concern for airports looking to keep or improve their reputation or expand their market share. One large factor in determining safety is that of fuel leakage on the airport apron. Such a leak can force the apron to be closed for safety reasons with the ensuing costs that closure brings. If the leakage were between the hydrant network and the aeroplane it would be spotted quickly and only necessitate closing part of the apron for a short time. More serious is a leak in the hydrant network itself as it is likely to go unnoticed by ground staff for some time and will probably be fed. Sadly, an example of this leakage was seen at Mitchell Airport in February 2012.

These generally require the hydrant network to be placed in a special state which prohibits delivery for the duration of the test. Although this test philosophy sounds onerous, the test duration is less than one hour and on many airports there are times of day when an airport is quiet for the test not to be seen as an interruption. The test is automated, so all the operator has to do it press ‘go’ at an appropriate moment. A typical airport installation runs a tightness test between the tank farm and the hydrants. The operators usually run the test in a quiet period (early

when the leak is fixed. The API specification dictates that the tightness monitoring system itself should be tested once a year. The yearly test is equivalent to the tests made as the final part of the commissioning procedure. A measured amount of fluid is taken from the section to demonstrate that the tightness monitoring system goes into alarm. One challenge during commissioning is being able to demonstrate the sensitivity to the smallest leaks. The challenge is for the engineer on the ground to control a leak of such a size.

Tightness testing There are several technologies available to monitor the network. The primary choice is between continuously monitoring the network or providing a snapshot test of the integrity state. Some technologies will even estimate the location of the leak point. The API 1540 ‘Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of aviation fuelling facilities’ safety gives a minimum specification for leak size (0.04 l/hr/m3) and the frequency that the detection system should be used (at least weekly). For busy airport systems continuous monitoring becomes complex to implement and requires a larger amount of infrastructure. The technology has been applied to shipping harbours, but remains a challenge to commercialise it for an airport. The limitation is that there is a cost per hydrant. The second group of technologies only operates on demand. The term ‘tightness monitoring’ is applied to these technologies.

Preparing for a leak trial

morning), at a frequency of about once a week. The system is initiated by the operator on their Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and the SCADA will subsequently run the tightness monitoring test unattended for 45 minutes to determine the tightness of one or more of the hydrant sections. Although the hydrant network could be quite large, it is typical to split the network into distinct sections. Although the network is split for other reasons, it helps narrow the leak location, reduce the size of the spill and, when the worst happens, prevents the whole airport being shutdown

Following the API specification, a section volume of 80m3 has a minimum detectable leak size of 2l/hr. This is the equivalent of filling one coke bottle at a steady rate over a one hour period.

A typical airport installation UK-based Atmos International has recently installed a tightness monitoring system (TMS) at the Bangkok International Suvarnahbumi airport. The hydrant network consists of over 20km of pipeline network ranging in diameter from 150mm to 600mm. The network was split into a number of loops, spurs and

feeder sections. Unusually some sections overlapped, so that, regardless of the section being tested, supply to other sections was always possible. The commissioning tests were made during the period between the network being constructed and the airport entering service. A typical commissioning test was to start extracting a volume of fluid into a measuring container and then start the test. The test would run to completion and would detect the leak (or otherwise remember we were tuning the system). Negative tests were also run, generally overnight when no one was using the network. The daytime tests produced a few surprises. One day the system was put on to test, left, and it went into alarm. It turned out that some engineers were testing one of the bounding valves and were taking fluid out of the section. Once the core system was commissioned Atmos could look at leak location tests. The leak point could be located to better than 100m. For some of the loops this was a big improvement in location and has the potential so save disruption as the leak will be found faster than otherwise. As the technology was relatively new it was thoroughly tested. The tests were similar to the earlier tests, just the duration was shorter. Now that the system is in service tests are made on a weekly schedule, generally in the early hours when flights are less frequent. Following the specification there are also yearly leak trials to confirm that the system remains tuned.

Leak detection Moving further away from the airport leak detection tests are also important on the lines feeding the tank farm from the port or refinery. Here the leak detection monitors the line continuously, regardless of whether the pipeline is running or stopped. In this case the SEPTEMBER 2012 41

The Fuelhandler safety

Tightness monitoring systems facilitate safer airport operations

loss of fuel is likely to be less well contained and may raise environmental concerns many miles from the leak point. There are several supplies of jet fuel to the Suvarnabhumi airport. One of the supplies was from a large tank farm to the north of Bangkok. Once the airport was commissioned and there were regular deliveries of fuel to the airport a leak detection system was commissioned. A leak here may interrupt supplies, but could also jeopardise the fuel certification for the batch. Leak detection on products pipeline is subject to a different set of regulations. Here one of the appropriate specifications is API 1155. The specification here balances the sensitivity against detection time, with more sensitive systems taking longer to detect. The limit of sensitivity is generally related to the metering accuracy and the pipeline operations. The testing of leaks on a flowing pipeline is quite a different technology and has a different set of constraints. Generally every inlet and outlet should be metered with flow meters. Additionally, process measurements along the length of the pipeline monitor hydraulic events throughout the pipeline. The information gathered gives a continuous indication of tightness. A typical test on the airport line was with product flowing through the pipeline (a dynamic test). A bowser is taken to a suitable leak point and product 42 SEPTEMBER 2012

is released as if it were a real leak. To give the system a solid foundation a set of leak trials are carried out when the pipeline is running in steady state conditions. Trials are also carried out when the pipeline is pressurised, but not flowing. Part of the test includes an estimate of the leak location. The location is important as it, to some extent also determines the response. If the worst should happen and the leak point is near a river then the leak response will include a lot of the area downstream of the leak point, as a result any more services will be involved.

Complementary technologies At a navel port the product is marine diesel. At ports the supply frequency tends to be much lower. Although the same technology as used at Bangkok Airport would be applicable here, an alternate technology is available, which allows almost continuous monitoring without altering the infrastructure. The monitoring is only suspended when the hydrant network is supplying. Depending on the route, some sections may continue to have leak detection applied even when other parts of the network are supplying. For safety reasons the fuel in the tank farm associated with an airport is regularly tested. In fact, each batch of product can be traced all the way back to the original refinery. At Bangkok Atmos supplied a

batch tracking system that ran from a refinery down the coast through to various destinations (including the airport). The bulk of the batch tracker was commissioned before the airport started operating, with the final leg becoming active when the airport started operating.

A better environment Without leak detection and its sister technology TMS there would be substantial loss of product both on the airport ground and off. A loss of product on the airport grounds has serious safety and cost implications. Where the product is less well contained there can be serious environmental issues both at the leak location and, in geographical terms,

Monitoring a leak trial

downstream. A tightness monitoring system will prevent long-term leakage. A leak detection system will give a faster indication of leakage, but is currently more appropriate to lines supplying an airport. A faster indication of leakage together with a location will minimise the environmental impact of a leakage. In addition to the leak point, the use of a batch tracking system will indicate the product being lost and will help target a better response. n

For more information: This article was written by Derek Cousins, principal engineer at Atmos International,

page heading The Fuelhandler


The Fuelhandler events

Future Events September 20 - 22 Airline E&M: Central & Eastern Europe Istanbul, Turkey 25-27 International Airport Expo Las Vegas, US 26-28 Military Airlift 2012 London, UK 27-29 expo Petro Trans Messe Kassel, Germany October 2-3 Aviation Biofuels Development Washington DC, US 17-19 Latin America & Caribbean Engineering & MRO Summit Tivoli São Paulo – Mofarrej, Sao Paulo, Brazil 30-1 November Airline E&M: North America San Francisco, US November 6-8 Aviation Fuel Forum Bangkok, Thailand December 4 Airline E&M: Air Cargo Aircraft MRO & Conversion Berlin, Germany 5 Airline E&M: Latin America & Caribbean San Juan, Puerto Rico June 2013 23-28 NPMA’s Petro Expo 2013 Washington DC, US

Advert Index The National Petroleum Management Association Petro Expo


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The Fuelhandler magazine  

The latest issue of the Fuelhandler magazine, the official magazine for the National Petroleum Management Association (NPMA), which represe...