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MidEx Lessons Learned (Jet Fuel Facility)

Written by: Nikie Bootsma


Points of Contact: Michel van Dijk/Nikie Bootsma
Q3 2018

General note to start with: JIG compliancy is desirable. However, it’s ​not just about JIG compliancy​​, but
also about operability of the facility. The JIG is a guideline designed to ensure clean jet fuel for aviation
purposes. The EI/JIG 1530 is not fully focused on intermediate storage locations like Vopak. Therefore,
deviation from the guideline is accepted as long as the rationale (and possible mitigating actions) is (are)
well documented.
Below are lessons learned based on the usage of the MidEx facility @​Europoort (Tank capacity +/-
50.000m3, slope is 1:80, diameter 47m, height 30m).

Tank Size + Slope


1:30 is a recommendation by JIG.
A steeper slope than 1:80 (MidEx) would be preferable. Sincrope daily/weekly flushing (aka draining) is
required by the JIG to ensure that water & particles are removed from the tank by means of force (the
flush), (>)1:80 would be too flat. Water needs to be able to drip down towards the cone (sump) as you
don’t want it to facilitate growth of microbes.

Also, keep in mind that cleaning costs etc. can be reduced if the slope is steeper, allowing for better
circumstances to dispose water/particles.

FSL’s
EI JIG 1530 Standard (1st edition)
9.3.9 Floating suction/tank outlet (JIG)
A means shall be provided to minimize dirt/water contamination uptake during delivery from storage tanks
(​e.g​. by the use of a floating suction arm).
The minimum requirement in all cases is that ​product cannot be drawn from less than 40 cm (16 in.)
above the tank floor in vertical tanks. A floating suction shall include a means to support the inlet to meet
this requirement (e.g. such as landing legs or a cradle).
Floating suction arms shall be provided with a means to establish whether they are floating.
In cases where internal floating roofs/covers are installed, it is necessary to ensure that the floating
suction will not interfere with the operation of the floating cover.

Vopak Europoort had problems twice (the FSL pricked through the IFR because of derailing; the FSL was
sliding against rails attached to the IFR, and secondly overpressure/vacuum of the FSL), causing us to
remove them from all tanks. In Australia they encountered problems as well.

We strongly recommend avoiding the usage of FSL’s guided by a rail attached to the internal floating roof
because of the risk of moving mechanical parts in a tank. This in turn is caused by the force created by
product movements. It is difficult/ impossible to check/inspect the internals of the tank while in use.
The size of the tank and discharge speed may be decisive in this case as smaller tanks may encounter
less of a vortex/product movement.
As long as the high suction is well above the bottom 40cm, the tank/product movement will be JIG
compliant. Do keep in mind that, following the MidEx design, the higher the High Suction point, the less
certified product can be transferred. The lower suction does not transfer product via the filters, hence, it
will not be certified. An amended design with a connection between the lower suction and the filters
(optional) could be the solution.

FSL Guy Wires


FSL’s need to be rigidized/fastened to the roof with guy wires. At Europoort we’ve added those after an
incident had occurred to ensure that the FSL is not able to swing in the tank. As long as there is no
guarantee that nothing can happen in the tank while discharging a vessel into it/while a vortex might be in
the tank, it seems likely that damage will occur.

Please note that the latest design of the FSL (which was reinstalled in TK1602 in Q1 2018) has had
recent amendments as well. The guy wires interfered with the nozzles in the tank, hence, the fixation
point of the guy wires on both sides of the FSL was extended. Also, when the IFR is in landing position
the guy wires ‘lean’ on to the nozzle ring in the tank. This can be resolved when the distance between the
inlet and outlet (FSL) is larger.

Risk: vacuum/underpressure in the FSL


We've performed a pressure test on 1 part of the pipeline as part of the preparations for reinstallation of
the same. The 3 reinforcement rings have proven insufficient as deformation of the line was caused at
3.9bar pressure. Instead of 3 rings, we've attached 5 reinforcement rings and the pipe passed the
pressure test. We'd recommend using the same number of rings per part (with a length of 3m) as it
proves to be more resistant to pressure (and full vacuum). For the design: please contact Floris van den
Herik (as he’s been the project engineer for the FSL)

Risk: derailing of FSL from track attached to IFR


I would say that it is common practice to use FSLs in tanks when delivering directly to airports, but it has
proven to be troublesome when the FSL is attached to an IFR.

The need for a FSL


Also, regarding the FSL’s: we’ve performed a test at Europoort on samples from 4 shoretanks which we
monitored throughout 24h (max settling time of the product) to determine the speed at which particles sink
to the bottom of the tank. We’ve taken samples at 9 heights every 3 hours after discharge in the tanks
and purchased a particle counter to count the number of particles per sample. If there are any doubts,
please request the following document “Memo Rationale Floating Suction Line”.

Emptying the FSL


Compared to latest Europoort design, recommended changes:
The Europoort design is such that product flows towards the tankwall, the slope is +/- 1%. This way it will
never empty itself and a third party has to empty the FSL. Consideration should be given to a slope
towards the sump of the tank with a hole in the flange at the ‘end’ or top of the FSL, and/or a hole at the
bottom side of the line. This ensures an empty FSL and the remaining product can be transferred via the
Lower Suction.
Generally regarding the FSL:
Please note that the FSL itself ​is not a strict JIG requirement but an example given. Quality standards can
be met by means of (well executed) procedures; as long as product is Clear & Bright and free of water it
can be released (not taking into account all other specs, but this is not related to tank design).

Drain Points
9.3.5 Tank water, sediment and sampling management system (JIG)
Tanks shall have a means for effective removal of water and sediment. Tanks should have slope down
bottoms to a center sump with a fixed water draw-off line. Vertical tanks should have a cone-down bottom
with a continuous slope of 1:30 minimum to a center sump.
It is recognized that, for structural/engineering reasons, optimum designs for large diameter tanks may
include a cone-up tank bottom with a minimum of three radial sump drain points. Irrespective of tank
design, dip hatches should be positioned above each drain point to enable water measurement.
It is recognized that existing tanks may have different bottom types such as flat, cone-up or sloped to one
side. These tank bottom types make complete water removal much more difficult, as often undrainable
areas of water exist and therefore significantly increase the risk of microbiological contamination. Tank
floor plates shall be lapped to ensure any water or sediment can drain freely towards the low point drain.

Consider multiple annular ring drain points if the outer (annular) ring is lower than the tank floor as it could
cause accumulation of water. This is a good point and should be considered (depending on the final
slope), irrespective of the FSL. Consider ​multiple ​annular ring drain points as the annular of the tank may
tilt over time. Water may accumulate in this ring, depending on the construction of the tank bottom.

Fast Flush
The MidEx construction is done rightly, but in Panama they’ve designed it in a different but not very
convenient way. This note is to ensure that the Fast Flush tanks are connected to multiple shoretanks, not
just one.

When tank A is certified and ​Fast Flush ​tank A is full, the Jet Fuel of the ​Fast Flush ​(after dewatering it)
can be returned to shoretank A but it is highly undesirable as and product is certified. Product in tank A
would have to be recertified and has to settle multiple hours (up to 24h) before it can be used again.
Therefore, a connection between all ​Fast Flush ​tanks and shoretanks is desirable.

In our ​Fast Flush ​tanks they've placed sensors from Endress & Hauser to indicate the quantity of water
and the quantity of Jet Fuel in the ​Fast Flush ​tanks after draining. This however, does not work. The
sensor is unable to indicate the height of the separation layer and can't calculate the quantity of water. It
is a waste of money to implement these. If desired (for admin and traceability purposes) it would be better
to have flowmeters on the outside, measuring density differences so it can register the outgoing flow of
water and the outgoing flow of Jet Fuel. This way you'll have a reliable count and you’ll prevent water
from being pumped back into the shoretank.

Fast Flush tanks: ensure the diameter of the flush line is >4” to ensure that dirt is flushed away and not
kept in the tank due to the a too narrow flush line. There should be enough power/pressure to ensure that
it will actually flush (and remove water & particles).
Filtration
The number of elements in one vessel is pretty important. More elements will (very likely) take longer
before saturation kicks in, preventing instant action from ops w.r.t. replacement of the elements.
Also, microfilters may not be mandatory, but it does help protect (the much more expensive) waterfilters.

Corrected dP meter
Is not necessary if you replace your filter elements on a regular basis, e.g. every day, week or month. It
will be useful to predict the expected moment of saturation of the elements if you replace them only once
a year to have time for preparations. There is no need if you achieve the max (allowed) flow over the
filters every once in a while.

MLA’s
Dedicated MLA’s are desirable as well.
Also, is there a possibility to empty the lines (line displacement) when the line is filled by tank A but we'd
like to load a barge with tank B? And can we empty the MLA's? The latter is for the purpose of traceability
of Jet Fuel batches.

Homogenizing
Recommendation: A separate header for homogenizing the product - this way the uncertified product will
never go over a certified line (prevents traceability issues and contamination).
The above may depend on the current infrastructure.

Skids
A nice to have are skids used for adding Stadis to the Jet Fuel. That way the surveyor doesn’t have to
provide the location with all equipment + containment floor.

Emptying tank
The High Suction is at 1300mm. Everything below this has to be transferred with a pump with a capacity
of 200m3/h. It takes about 24h to empty the tank this way. Recommendation would be to either increase
the pump capacity (e.g. by connecting the ‘normal’ pumps to the Lower Suction) or lower the High Suction
(question is whether the latter is desirable considering the uptake of contaminants settling down). The
latter obviously doesn’t hold for small tanks.

Pumps
Take into account existing infrastructure if applicable. At Europoort an existing Jet Fuel pit (6) with a
connecting centrifugal pump has not been taken into account as MidEx (pit 16) was designed with PD
pumps. Both pit 6 and pit 16 are connected to Boosterpump LP2, which boosts product into the DPO
pipeline. Problem is that the primary pumps (from pit 6 and pit 16) are different types, making it difficult to
automate/operate the system (well). Bottomline is to check existing/connecting infrastructure.

Bypass Filters - Barge Loadings


Since filtration is not mandatory for product going to non-airport locations, there should be a bypass
available for barge loadings.

Sequence of valves closing in case of ESD


We’ve learned that the valve at the MLA should be closed sooner than the other valves in the line up to
prevent the filtervessel from being emptied (accidentally) in case of an ESd. Product continues to flow
towards the MLA until all valves are fully closed. This is something that wasn’t noticed for a long time,
causing the filtervessels to be empty (unknowingly), filled with air. As a consequence, filter elements are
blown up when manipulations are (re)started. As product quality is key, this is an undesirable situation.
For more info about the solution, please contact Sven van den Hil or Michel van Dijk (about ballooning of
elements).