Case Study

Case study: Tuffa HVO tank offers EGGER a sustainable alternative to red diesel

The EGGER Group is an international multi-billion-euro company with 20 plants, in 10 countries, manufacturing all types of wood-based materials. The company’s Barony plant, in Ayrshire, Scotland, produces approximately 400,000m3 of raw chipboard per annum, for customers across the UK and Europe, involving the use of HGVs, excavators, sawmills, generators and various mobile plant machinery.

A case study showing how the changes to rebated diesel eligibility presented an opportunity for EGGER to switch from fossil fuels to HVO with the help of Tuffa.

Manufacturing with raw natural resources at such a vast scale, the Group is very conscious of its environmental impact and takes corporate sustainability very seriously. The company seeks to minimise the carbon footprint in all its processes through actions such as selectively sourcing wood from reputable suppliers and investing in a wood processing recycling plant and biomass energy plant powered by the waste wood within the Barony plant.

Red diesel ban sees EGGER looking for a sustainable liquid fuel solution

The changes to rebated diesel eligibility meant EGGER needed to use their existing red diesel stocks and find an alternative fuel before the deadline. This presented an opportunity to switch from fossil fuels to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).

Graeme Barrass, engineering manager for EGGER’s Barony plant, explained that they use around 1,000 litres of diesel each day at the plant. With HVO’s excellent low-carbon properties, the fuel switch means a huge reduction in CO2 emissions from 3.6 tonnes to as little as 195kg. Machinery can also benefit, as HVO’s clean-burning properties reduce particulate production by up to 84% resulting in cleaner engines, SCR systems (where fitted) and prolonged engine oil lifetimes.

To avoid contaminating the biofuel with any red dye or diesel bug residing in the existing vertical cylindrical tank, EGGER decided to start afresh and invest in a new HVO fuel tank. This left the old tank free for kerosene heating oil storage, reducing dependence on mains gas.

EGGER selects Tuffa

Researching HVO-compatible fuel tanks, Graeme initially considered second hand but was concerned about lack of warranty and uncertainty about structural integrity. With the work put out to tender, up against some of the UK’s leading steel tank manufacturers, Tuffa was selected. Graeme explained that, whilst Tuffa’s prices weren’t the most competitive, the company was chosen due to the ‘superior design and construction of their steel tanks’.

Andrew Dobson of Tuffa explains the difference: “A thicker than average steel plate, additional steel bracing and a fully independent bund even at the tank’s base (rather than a ‘common bottom’ where the base of the tank isn’t bunded) make Tuffa’s steel tanks stronger and more hardwearing than many other manufacturers and EGGER was willing to pay a little more for these benefits.”

Graeme opted for a HVO storage tank with a custom footprint to achieve the highest possible capacity for the available space as Andrew explains: “We manufactured a bunded fuel tank painted in Goosewing Grey (as requested) with a high-security cabinet complete with a roller shutter door safely housing the outlet and C2020 contents gauge with bund alarm.

“A telemetry device was added later to send an alert to the fuel suppliers making resupplying the tank an automatic process. With 30,000L deliveries at a time, the EGGER Group was also guaranteed the best incremental discounts for bulk buying their HVO.”

The installation

The large steel tank was ordered in January 2021 with installation arranged for just after the April 1st deadline to switch from red diesel, so EGGER decided a temporary fuel storage tank would give additional time to prepare for the changes. The Barony site has a masonry open bund, so the most economical option was to purchase Tuffa’s 20,000L plastic single-skin tank with a Watchman Sonic to detect fuel levels.

Quick lead times on plastic tanks meant it was delivered around one week after ordering and was swiftly installed ready to store the first HVO order.

The 35,000L steel, bunded HVO storage tank arrived on site late March and was crane- lifted into position. Installation was simple, requiring a concrete base and final 230V connection. EGGER Barony could then arrange construction of a new dispensing bay ready to fuel the site’s vehicle fleet.

A satisfied customer

Graeme confirmed how happy he was with both the work and service: “Everything has been perfect from the initial enquiry with Dee through to arranging transport with Amy, and the delivery driver was super-helpful and a credit to his company. The new HVO tank ticks all the boxes for the environment and further reduces our reliance on fossil fuels.”

Looking ahead, Tuffa believes that HVO usage can only increase, and marketing manager Charlie Goring explains why: “While EV technology is advancing rapidly, battery limitations mean it’s not necessarily a viable solution for heavy vehicles and there is a long way to go before hydrogen-powered vehicles and the required infrastructure will be ready for the mass market.

“Comparatively, HVO is a drop-in alternative to diesel, offering immediate and substantial reductions in carbon helping us to meet emissions targets today. We’re seeing increasing interest in HVO, and are proud to help decarbonise the fuel industry as the number of our HVO tanks in the field escalates. With UKIFDA and OFTEC leading the charge to get HVO approved and incentivised as a low-carbon kerosene alternative, uptake will only increase and companies like EGGER can further reduce their carbon footprint.”

The team at Tuffa are proud to have been involved in the project at EGGER’s Barony plant which could prevent thousands of tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.

Exhorting the sector Andrew concludes: “We challenge transport and machinery operators throughout the UK to switch to renewable liquid fuels and we offer our storage and dispensing expertise to help this happen.”