Jan 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Mary Davis
TANK trucks are moving at a steady clip through the loading racks at two Buckeye Terminals LLC facilities — one for aviation and one for other refined fuels — in Indianapolis, Indiana. The activity is representative of the parent company's growth from recent acquisitions.
The parent, Buckeye Partners LP of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, acquired the aviation fuel terminal in Indianapolis from Transmontaigne in 2001 while the other refined fuels terminal was purchased in 2004 from Shell Oil Products US as part of a $517-million purchase that included 24 petroleum product terminals with 9.3 million barrels of tank storage. The refined fuels terminal handles gasoline, diesel, and ethanol.
Buckeye also obtained four terminals from an affiliate of ExxonMobil Corp in 2005.
“The terminals will expand the business of Buckeye Terminals and should provide additional revenue opportunities as we convert these historically proprietary terminals to terminals available to all shippers,” William H Shea Jr, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of the parent company, said upon announcing the acquisitions.
In Indianapolis, the aviation fuel terminal has two loading racks and 200,000 barrels (6.3 million gallons) of storage capacity, says Gary Gray, terminal manager.
The other facility includes five loading racks and storage tanks with 444,000-barrel (14-million gallons) of product currently available, says Dick Waddell, terminal supervisor.
“Our terminal supplies JP-8 to military bases, and the terminal is required to inject electrical conductivity inhibitors and anti-icing additives at the loading rack,” says Gray.
Additives also go into jet fuel shipped to commercial users. Two additive storage tanks, one 8,000-gallon and the other 250 gallons, are dedicated to military supply. Another 1,400-gallon tank holds additives for commercial users.
The terminal provides 100,000-barrel (3.15-million-gallon) total storage capacity dedicated to JP-8 fuel for government use and another 100,000-barrel capacity for jet fuel.
The rack can load product at a maximum flow rate of 600 gallons per minute, but that varies depending on the number of trailers being loaded at the rack. Typical time required to load is about 15 minutes.
Tank truck carriers hauling product for military load on a 3:30 am to 10 am schedule, but the terminal is available for access 24/7 for all carriers that have been pre-authorized.
At the other terminal, five loading racks are active: three for gasoline, one for diesel, one that handles both gasoline and diesel, and a new station for ethanol.
Drivers usually are in and out of the racks in 30-40 minutes, says Waddell. Flow rates at the racks range from 450 to 500 gallons per minute.
Seventeen storage tanks are used for the various products, including the new addition of ethanol. There are two additive storage tanks, one with 12,000-gallon capacity and another that holds 6,000-gallon.
Terminal managers train drivers on loading procedures and discuss terminal policies. Drivers usually attend three training sessions before being certified. Typically, drivers are accompanied by the carrier's driver trainer so that loading can be accomplished.
Both Buckeye terminals use card-accessed automated entry at the fenced and gated facilities. Cards also are required for access to loading rack equipment. Drivers use Buckeye-approved cards at the gate and again at the loading rack. Once their identity is verified, the drivers manually key in information to start the product flow. Equipment shuts off automatically when the loading reaches a pre-set point.
The access data base contains information about the carrier so that if a driver's commercial driver license or the carriers insurance has expired, entry will be denied.
If a driver has not used the system within the previous 90 days, access also will be denied and retraining will be required.
Equipment at the racks includes FMC loading arms, Veeder Root meters, FMC's Smith AccuLoad controllers, Diamond Control Systems, Scully overfill protection, Lubrizol Gate-Pak additive injectors, and Emco Wheaton bottom-loading couplers.
John Zink Company provides the petroleum terminal with a vapor recovery system to contain emissions from storage tank vents and tank trailers at the racks.
In addition to the Indianapolis terminals, Buckeye Partners LP owns and operates a total of 42 refined petroleum product terminals with an aggregate storage capacity of approximately 16.7-million barrels (526-million gallons). Facilities are in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In addition, Buckeye owns and operates one of the nation's largest independent pipeline systems with approximately 4,900 miles of pipeline. Buckeye also operates and maintains another 1,300 miles of pipeline under agreements with major oil and chemical companies.
Founded in March 1886 as part of the Standard Oil Company to gather crude oil in northwestern Ohio, Buckeye became a publicly owned, independent company after the dissolution of Standard in 1911. In 1964, Buckeye was acquired by a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which later became the Penn Central Corporation. In December 1986, the Company was reorganized into a master limited partnership, which conducts all of its operations through its operating partnerships. In 1996, management and employees purchased the general partnership.
With a strong history of growth, its recent acquisitions, and continuing to grow and diversify its service offerings, the company appears well-suited to meet market demands for the future.
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