Simon partners Mabanaft in new rail-fed fuel supply line

Investment in new fuel storage and rail loading facilities by Simon Storage Ltd (“Simon”) at its Immingham East Terminal (“the Terminal”) has assisted independent fuel wholesaler, Mabanaft Ltd (“Mabanaft”) in creating a new rail-fed fuel supply line from Immingham on Humberside to HCB Storage’s Cardiff oil terminal.

Mabanaft completed a modernisation programme of rail heads at the Cardiff terminal as part of the 15-month project. The investment by Simon, Mabanaft and other business partners has opened a fuel supply line from the east to the west coast of Britain. This will bring increased fuel supply security to businesses in the Cardiff area, and means that HCB Storage’s terminal is now able to receive product by rail as well as by ship. In addition, Mabanaft will have the potential to provide fuel to any other UK rail-fed terminal or depot.

At the Immingham end of the new fuel supply route, Simon has integrated new and existing facilities to allow receipt of Mabanaft product by sea from the East Jetty, from Simon’s adjoining West Terminal, or from local refineries and their associated terminals. Specialist storage for ultra low sulphur derv, kerosene and bio blend diesel is provided by six carbon steel tanks, three of which are newly built. Simon’s engineering team also managed the design and build of additional facilities for the project, including new transfer pipelines and a supplementary loading facility in the existing rail loading sidings to improve turnaround times for the export of large batches of product from Immingham to Cardiff and other potential destinations.

New pipeline systems installed by Simon at Immingham enable product to be transferred from storage tanks to the rail loading gantry at a flow rate of up to 512m³/hr. The rail loading line for Mabanaft is split into two headers with six rail loading points. Rail cars are bottom loaded via a manual loading operation designed to allow two adjacent rail cars to be filled simultaneously until the whole train has been loaded. The manual loading operation is backed up by an automatic high level cut-off probe placed into each rail car before loading commences. In the event of the high level alarm being activated during loading, the auto valve to the rail car and a common valve in the feed to the gantry are closed and the loading pump is stopped in conjunction with audio visual warnings to the loading team.

Now in its fifth decade in the UK, Mabanaft has built a strong reputation as a reliable supplier of fuel products to independent distributors, retailers, hauliers, marine-bunker providers, supermarkets, and the commercial/industrial sectors. Commenting on the re-opening of the rail facility at the Cardiff oil terminal, Mark Rolph, Mabanaft’s Managing Director, says: “The support of key business partners like Simon Storage has contributed to the successful completion of this project which reinforces Mabanaft’s commitment to long term investment in oil supply infrastructure to ensure secure supplies for the UK market.”

Simon’s Chief Executive, Richard Sammons, comments: “This project showcases Simon’s engineering expertise and demonstrates our willingness to invest in specialist storage and handling facilities to meet customers’ commercial objectives.”