Astron Energy, formerly Chevron South Africa, officially opened its new tank truck loading rack (TTLR) at its Milnerton refinery, in Cape Town, on Wednesday.
The facility took two years to complete and will increase filling efficiency at the refinery – reducing loading time of an average 40 000 l fuel tanker by 50% to 30 minutes.
The quicker turnaround generates a 30% improvement in truck use for the fuel haulers, allowing more trucks to be loaded per shift and, in turn, allowing more product delivery per day to customers.
The new TTLR replaced the original facility that had been built by Chevron in 1965.
Astron spent R150-million on the TTLR, which was designed by Kantey & Templer. The procurement spend was predominantly spent in the Western Cape, through locally-based civil, mechanical and electrical engineering contractors to complete the construction.
The TTLR has eight loading bays, with each fully equipped to bottom load all of the petroleum products produced at the refinery.
The bays are fitted with Accuload automation systems and Smith meter technology, along with Sculley overfill protection to prevent spills.
Additionally, vapour recovery systems are in place to manage and contain emissions and the bays are each monitored by surveillance cameras, which assist with truck management from the entry point to the staging area.
Advanced safety features such as a deluge fire protection and a spill containment system also form part of the system as an environmental safeguard.
Astron has a network of about 850 Caltex-branded service stations. Astron will continue to manage the Caltex brand for six years, under a licence from Chevron US.
The Milnerton refinery is capable of producing 100 000 bbl/d of product, across petrol, diesel, jet fuel, liquid petroleum gas, bitumen gas and other specialty products.