Simon provides automated bio-ethanol blending for Mabanaft

Simon Storage Ltd (“Simon”) has supplied and installed an automated bio-ethanol blending system for independent fuel wholesaler, Mabanaft Ltd (“Mabanaft”). Installation of the new biofuels blending facilities at Simon’s Immingham West Terminal (“the Terminal”) is a direct response to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) programme, which requires suppliers like Mabanaft to ensure that a specified percentage of the road fuels they supply in the UK is made up of renewable fuels. Simon and Mabanaft agreed on an in-line blending process for the project which injects bio-ethanol into the gasoline product stream at the loading gantries at the required blend ratio. An in-built metering system is designed to ensure that the final blend is correct at the point of delivery into the road tanker.

Introduction of the RTFO in April 2008 has increased demand for specialist biofuels storage and handling facilities at UK terminals. Working with its road transport fuel clients to meet RTFO requirements, Simon has developed extensive biofuels expertise, including added value services such as in-line and in-tank blending. The bio-ethanol blending facility installed by Simon’s engineering team at Immingham West Terminal satisfies all relevant safety, operational and environmental standards and provides Mabanaft with a highly efficient blending operation. When a road tanker driver requests bio-gasoline at the gantry, a signal is sent to the automated micro-blender on the selected loading arm to initiate the gasoline-bio-ethanol blending process at the preset ratio. The blender can deliver up to 25% of bio-ethanol in the mix.

Mark Rolph, Mabanaft’s Managing Director, was appreciative of Simon’s input: “Simon’s engineering and automation team evaluated the options, recommended the optimum system, then supplied and installed the whole solution on time and on budget.”

Mabanaft’s road tanker loading and bio-ethanol blending operation at the Terminal is managed and monitored by Simon’s Terminal Automation and Stock Control System (TASCS). This bespoke automation package communicates the preset blend ratio to the relevant micro-blender at the load rack. After loading, TASCS calculates the HMRC duty liability per component, provides updated stock calculations, and allows clients to access real time reporting via Simon’s web-based access system.