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Client California refinery

Location USA

Sectors Petrochemical and refining

The challenge

Reduce fuel temperatures to avoid shutdown

A refinery in California was transferring fuel from tanks to a dispensing unit when they noticed the temperature climbing to 100°F (37.8°C). In turn, this was causing rising vapour pressure and the Vapour Recovery Unit (VRU) was climbing into the hazardous red zone. 

Without a fully functional VRU the refinery would be forced to reduce or stop dispensing fuel altogether, leading to a loss of income, dissatisfied customers and possible fines for vapour emissions.

Project fact file

100 °F

Pre-cooling temperature

60 °F

Post-cooling temperature

28 gallons

Fuel tank capacity

The solution

A full-service cooling package

We needed to get the fuel in the 28-gallon storage tanks lowered from a dangerous 95°F (35°C) to a safe 65°F (18°C) so that the VRU could cope. We brought in a temporary cooling system that circulated product within the tank. Our package included an air-cooled chiller, heat exchanger and two purpose-built hydrocarbon-circulating pumps, as well as a generator to power the system.

There were three different sets of safety regulations to comply with: site, city and state. In such a hazardous setting, full understanding of those regulations was critical, which is why knowledge of safety standards and compliance issues was part of our full-service delivery.

the aggreko difference

Fully equipped to respond to any emergency at any time.

The impact

Temperatures safe in just a few hours

Within hours of arriving on site, we had reduced temperatures in the tanks to an average 60°F (15.5°C), got the VRU back into the safety zone and had the storage tanks back to full dispensing service. This allowed the refinery to meet customer demands and avoid loss of income as well as any penalties associated with vapour emissions.

Although this was only temporary cooling, our rigorous approach to safety and efficiency meant that the eventual permanent solution closely resembled our own.

“Rising gasoline temperatures were threatening our operations, so we contacted Aggreko immediately. It was the weekend, but the local office had a solution ready for approval on Monday.”

Terminal Manager

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