Product 4

News

New product offers financial certainty to fuel suppliers

Specialist trade insurance broker, Attis Credit Solutions, has partnered with BondAval to bring MicroBonds to the UK fuel market. This cutting-edge product will provide S&P A-rated certainty to fuel suppliers into forecourts and is instantly accessible to buyers and suppliers who can purchase the security via the BondAval platform to meet their contractual security obligations without requiring any cross collateralisation. The MicroBond provides 100% cover, on demand with no excess. Claims for non-payment are payable, typically, within days rather than weeks. Suppliers receive investment-grade certainty that their retail clients will pay for their fuel per the terms of their contracts, while drastically reducing the friction and time involved in the security onboarding and renewal process. The BondAval platform takes only a matter of minutes to produce a MicroBond, a process that would otherwise take weeks or even months. Paul Martin, co-founder and co-MD of Attis Credit Solutions said: “Providing certainty to a CFO/FD is a powerful tool. Doing it with no time cost whilst also freeing up tied capital for the buyers is a real game-changer. The BondAval platform is cutting-edge, and we look forward to working with the team to see it deployed across the UK fuel market”. Tom Powell co-founder and CEO of BondAval said: “Working with Paul and his team is a real pleasure. Their insight, experience and expertise mean they truly understand the challenges in the fuel market, and opportunities which we can bring to market together. We’re excited to start building a long-term partnership”.    

News

OMJ expands product range

The Oil Market Journal has greatly expanded its product offering to help clients to future proof their business for the low carbon economy. In addition to providing oil prices, OMJ now also provides a wide range of prices for sustainable fuels as well as pricing for power, gas and emissions.

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CTS Piusi range compatible with new fuels

As the official UK agent of Piusi and a leading supplier of fuel equipment to OEM tank manufacturers, Centre Tank Services Ltd (CTS) is happy to announce that all Piusi products for diesel are 100% compatible with HVO, GTL and other paraffinic fuels made according to EN 15940:2019. After months of in-house testing, CTS is also pleased to confirm that its own product range including tank alarms and levels probes is suitable for use with HVO and GTL fuels. This is a great step forward as, with no costly infrastructure changes in terms of storage, handling and vehicles, HVO and GTL are simply “drop-in” replacements for diesel. Given the UK Government’s ambitious emission targets, the future of the fuel industry relies on the uptake of these green liquid fuels over the coming years. Centre Tank Services Ltd hopes to see the adoption of a similar model to the Swedish one, whereby making HVO completely tax-exempt saw a 124% increase in usage. You can find the full statement from Centre Tank Services at www.centretank.com.    

News

Testing fuel for contamination? There’s an app for that.

Following feedback from the industry to improve the speed efficiency of microbial fuel testing, Conidia, one of the principal companies operating in this field, has launched a totally upgraded digital verification tool FUELSTAT® Result. A free, downloadable mobile app, FUELSTAT® allows operators to complete compliance testing on-site without paper and without the need to register, representing a significant productivity improvement and allows users to verify fuel test results and instantly create a professional report that can be immediately printed or emailed from the user’s phone or tablet. The app works alongside the FUELSTAT® test kit. Once samples have been taken and results are ready, the app uses the phone’s camera to read and interpret the results. A record of the last 10 results is kept locally on the phone and the user can add information about location, asset and any additional notes. Myrsini Chronopoulou, research & development manager at Conidia, said: “This is so incredibly easy to use. From taking fuel samples to having the test report ready to send can be completed on site in as little as 15 minutes compared with sending samples to a laboratory, which can take up to 10 days. There are no special skills necessary and, even if the user is not familiar with the test process, the app will guide them.” Stewart Elder, business development at MBG Fuel Test, comments: “The FUELSTAT® Result app really helps to differentiate FUELSTAT® from other products. It is the only on-site digital fuel testing product that gives full results and a complete, professional report in a matter of minutes. Users love the simplicity of use and quick, easy and secure access to detailed information, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding fuel management.”    

News

Alpeco’s new system already in operation

The end of 2020 saw the culmination of a 3-year development program by Sampi in collaboration with Alpeco Ltd.  As a result, Alpeco has announced their brand new TEX FLOW computer which has attained full UK approval and has been successfully undergoing trials with Nolan Oils on its new COBO tanker since September 2020.

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Contamination prevention from MechTronic

OptiMate, MechTronic’s revolutionary electronic metering system has been built with the fuel oil operative in mind and is designed to be future proof. Using solid state firmware, the latest update provides increased control while performing line changes when switching between hose and bulk deliveries.

News

Tackling fuel tank contamination

Centre Tank Services Ltd have added a new distributorship under their belt with the Aquafighter range of fuel tank water absorbers. The increasing bio content in today’s diesel means that the issue of water in fuel is not going away, and as the percentage of bio increases, it is an issue that is becoming even more prevalent.

News

OptiMate is the key to MechTronic success in Ireland

Now operating on over 250 trucks in the UK and Ireland, the additional benefits that OptiMate brings fuel oil operatives, in terms of saving time, money and preventing fuel contaminations, are behind MechTronic’s recent success in both Northern Ireland and Ireland. OptiMate is a revolutionary and futureproof system that is developed to meet changing customer demands. Launched in 2016, Optimate has become the electronic metering system of choice as fuel oil operatives face increasing pressure to deliver multiple fuel grades to a wide range of customers within a timely manner. Its unique self-draining manifold ensures the manifold is clear of product before starting a line change and prevents a contamination. Brad Wilkie, sales and marketing manager at MechTronic said; “As a family business, MechTronic listens to our customers changing requirements and we are proud that our latest update supports fuel oil operatives to deliver fuel by hose/bulk or gravity – regardless of the delivery, OptiMate will ensure the delivery is metered and accounted for.” Northern Ireland has the largest percentage of domestic homes using heating oil in Western Europe and, in Ireland, 40% of all homes rely on home-heating oil. In July 2019, heating oil prices reached their highest levels since 2014, following four consecutive years of growth. Naturally Covid-19 has impacted oil prices this year however, with more people staying at home, the demand for home heating oil is increasing and prices rising. This growth over the last four years has helped fuel oil operatives to invest in their fleet and move towards metering systems that don’t just simply meter fuel but offer additional benefits to the fuel oil operative. A range of automatic processes to prevent contamination include Optimate’s unique automatic line change procedure where it automatically empties the manifold before introducing the new product and delivers the optimum line change quantity every time. Automatically recognising different line change volumes removes the requirement for drivers to manually calculate volumes and, with busy schedules, drivers may potentially overcompensate in their calculation, resulting in lost revenue. The flexibility to automatically perform a pre-determined line change or return product quickly without the threat of contamination saves both time and money Fuel oil operatives invest in OptiMate In 2018, Lissan Coal Company (LCC Oil) was the first fuel oil operative in Northern Ireland to purchase four OptiMate systems closely followed by Murphy Oils, McLean Fuels and Holden Fuels. Michael Moran, operations director at LCC said; “The automatic processes that OptiMate offers in terms of line change protocol was of particular interest to us. We were also impressed by the simplicity of OptiMate and that it can be controlled by just three buttons. It also offers our drivers the ability to amend their route to meet changing customer requirements without worrying about performing a line change.” More recently, fuel oil operatives in Ireland are also making the decision to move to OptiMate with Dundalk Oil, Atlantic Oils and Stewart Oils all placing (and receiving) orders in 2020. Barry Finlay at Dundalk Oil said; “We are delighted to be the first fuel oil operative within Ireland to be out delivering with OptiMate. We chose OptiMate as we liked the automatic processes that it offers. Drivers have already commented on how easy the system is to use, and how they are able to make deliveries quicker due to the automatic line changes.”      

News

Barton Petroleum improves fleet safety and driver performance with Mircolise

Barton Petroleum has deployed the Microlise Fleet Performance solution to improve safety and driver performance and deliver increased efficiencies across its fleet. The Microlise fleet tracking and utilisation solution will improve the fleet’s real-time visibility and routeing efficiency, enhance driver and customer communication and support better driving performance and safer, more compliant practices. According to Howard Marriott, group transport manager at Barton Petroleum Ltd; “By partnering with Microlise, and utilising this integrated solution, we are ensuring that we equip our fleet with a best-in-class safety, compliance and fleet management solution that will deliver a quantifiable ROI. “We are confident that our investment will introduce an enhanced level of operating performance and efficiency while protecting and supporting our drivers.” Nadeem Raza, Microlise chief executive officer, added; “We are pleased to be providing Barton Petroleum with additional tools to manage, monitor and positively impact on its operation and drive improved fleet efficiencies. “Every customer we work with requires a fit-for-purpose solution, and we are delighted to support Barton Petroleum to increase its organisational capability and sustainability.” Microlise is one of Europe’s largest technology, telematics and transport management solution providers, working with 14 of the UK’s 15 largest retailers and managing more than 500,000 active vehicle connections worldwide.    

News

OptiMate: Now with gravity metering

The introduction of gravity metering to the latest release of Mechtronic’s OptiMate gives fuel oil operatives greater confidence that all deliveries are accounted for and efficient delivery schedules can be maintained. OptiMate also enables pre-set gravity deliveries allowing split loads from each compartment.   An electronic metering system for the fuel oil distributor, OptiMate incorporates a turbine meter that delivers on accuracy and repeatability. The latest release of OptiMate offers gravity metering along with hose and bulk through the same class leading turbine meter. Regardless of the delivery method, it’s now metered, ensuring every litre is delivered, and a ticket is printed. OptiMate incorporates a self-draining manifold that prevents contamination and enhances a cleaner line change, protecting fuel oil distributors against contamination. This industry first ensures that the manifold is cleared every time, leaving the driver free to continue with their next delivery without the threat of a possible contamination. OptiMate also supports automatic compartment follow-on and pre-determined line changes at the end of the delivery, without the need to return to the vehicle – saving drivers time and increasing efficiency.  

News

Adler and Allan partners with Hoyer for tanker testing

Adler and Allan has agreed a three-year partnership with Hoyer Petrolog UK Ltd to carry out road tanker testing across its road fuel tanker fleet. The contract will include holding their fleet details on a secure database, to ensure that all tests are carried out on schedule. Clients have password-protected database access to view their fleet information, including test results and certificates. The integrity of the barrel and tank on road tankers should be tested every two years according to the Road Traffic (Carriage of Dangerous Substances in Road Tankers and Tank Containers) Regulations 1992. Adler and Allan is approved by the Department for Transport to provide road tanker testing across the UK and issue Safe Loading Passes as well as meeting strict UKAS standards. The company is also approved and accredited for testing general purpose and bitumen tanks as well as meter and fire extinguisher testing which is required annually. Andrew Clarke, Forecourt Services managing director, Adler and Allan, said; “We are delighted that Hoyer Petrolog UK Ltd has trusted us with their road tanker testing in the UK. As well as road tanker testing we are accredited to perform vapour tightness testing, intermediate and periodic inspection and testing. “We are also experts in chemical compliance and have a 24/7 hazardous materials advice line. If you are transporting any bulk liquid in the UK, we can ensure you remain compliant and safe.” The news follows the latest announcement that Adler and Allan has extended its leak detection capability by offering Leighton O’Brien’s Automatic Tank Gauge Alarm Management solution and Wetstock Live fuel management software to the UK petroleum industry.    

News

Vectec system offers solution to rising fuel theft problem

As reports of fuel theft increase across the UK, leading fuel management firm Vectec is offering an innovative, comprehensive solution to counteract the growing use of powerful pumps capable of lifting hundreds of litres of diesel every minute. The first of its kind, the new Metron4 24-hour fuel theft detection system is making waves for its ground-breaking technology which measures fuel through rate of change functionality, rather than simple quantity sensors. The fully customisable system enables users to configure the trigger sensor based on individual usage levels on site, sparking a site-based beacon and klaxon, along with email notifications to designated staff, upon the pre-defined rate of change being witnessed. Integrated UPS ensures that the system continues to operate as normal even in the absence of mains power for effective and efficient response to theft. The new system comes at a time when thieves are understood to be taking between 1,000 and 30,000 litres of fuel at a time from often unmanned sites such as ambulance stations, fire stations, and council premises. The advanced drilling techniques utilised by thieves today can create an urgent need for site cleanup which can, in many cases, amount to more than the cost of the lost fuel due to the potential severity of flooding. Vectec’s Simon Fowler said; “When we heard about this growing problem from our clients, our first response was to identify an existing solution that would tick all the boxes, yet we found that a solution that met our strict standards didn’t seem to exist. We found that many of the pre-existing solutions out there were known for their false alerts caused by external factors, so as fuel management experts we came together to design and develop our very own detection system that looks at the rate of fuel change over a set period.” The system utilises rate of change technology which ensures that alerts are only sent in instances of real risk. Simple to install, Vectec’s new solution can be used on existing above-ground and below-ground tanks, and is easy to install across a selection of sites.  

News

Certas Energy launches support platform

Certas Energy is supporting forecourt retailers with the launch of a new online resource that offers free access to personal wellbeing tools, learning courses and discounts from leading brands. Certas Energy Dealer Rewards provides tailored wellbeing programmes that can help forecourt retailers and their employees to improve their personal wellbeing and navigate these challenging times. The platform’s online learning resources offer hundreds of courses to support professional growth, with categories including Business & Management, Health & Psychology, Technology and many more. Richard Billington, retail director at Certas Energy, commented; “Our team is working non-stop to find creative solutions to support our dealers and their workforce throughout and beyond this national emergency. What’s been difficult for many people is finding new ways to spend the additional hours we’re all at home – whether it’s business as usual or not. “That’s why I’m delighted to launch Certas Energy Dealer Rewards to help our retail network and their teams get the best from this extra time at home. With its wide range of learning and wellbeing tools, we hope our colleagues will find the platform to be a useful resource for personal and professional development as we prepare for the time when we can all return to normality.” Certas Energy Dealer Rewards is available to all Gulf and Pace dealer employees at no additional cost.  

News

Forecourts adopt GripHero in the fight against COVID-19

In the last week alone, over a thousand forecourts globally have taken Devon-based GripHero up on its offer of providing hand-protection dispensers free to protect customers from the transmission of Covid-19 at the fuel pump. The brainchild of inventor Oli Yeo, GripHero is an award-winning patented hand-protection dispenser, which sits on top of every hand-pump on the forecourt, so that the very first thing the customer interacts with is the hand-protection itself. This prevents customers from coming into contact with the fuel pump handle where Covid-19 could easily be passed from one driver to another. The right thing to do At a potential cost of up to £3 million to the business in up-front costs for the UK market alone, Oli Yeo decided that the only right thing to do was to provide the dispensers free of charge, as they are the only ones in the world permitted within the refuelling zone due to their use of ATEX-Certified anti-static materials. All other hand-protection must be stored away from fuel pumps as they are susceptible to static charges. Commenting on the incredible response and demand for GripHero’s hand-protection dispensers, Oli Yeo said: ‘In the last week alone, we’ve received enquiries and orders from operators with over 1,000 forecourts internationally. “They know full-well that when drivers cough or sneeze, small droplets of mucus are spread onto the steering wheel and their hands. If the driver were to have Covid-19, that could be easily passed on to other users via fuel pump handles. These are hard plastic and metal surfaces where Covid-19 can survive for upwards of 24 hours. In that time hundreds of hands could pick up and pass on the virus, which is why it’s essential for all drivers to use hand-protection at the fuel pump, every single time.” Independent research commissioned by GripHero, shows that over 80% of drivers regularly fill up without using hand-protection because they can’t find gloves, or because standard dispensers are empty. Fitting GripHero hand-protection at every refuelling bay, and in particular, on each fuel pump nozzle, helps put a stop to this problem. Adoption of GripHero Westmorland Ltd, an operator of multi-award-winning motorway service stations across the country, including Gloucester Services, is one of the groups that has adopted GripHero, providing protection against the transmission of Covid-19 across their network. Andy Smith, Group Fuels Manager for Westmorland Ltd explains: “It is more important than ever before to protect our customers in the best way we possibly can. By offering GripHero, Westmorland Ltd is playing its part in the battle against coronavirus and is dramatically reducing wastage that other glove dispensers produce. We’re also eliminating the static-risks for our customers in the fueling zone.” Oli Yeo added: “The global fuel industry has changed overnight. Demand for hand-protection at the fuel pump has hit an all-time high, as drivers look to protect themselves. That means it is vitally important to dispense protection efficiently to avoid running out of protection at the pump, and to prevent wastage of plastic, adding to a forecourt’s already high carbon-footprint. We hope to help all forecourts in the UK. Working at current production capacity, we could equip every petrol station in the UK within 6 months.”  

News

JET – new dual premium fuels range

JET has launched its new dual range of JET ULTRA premium fuels, which includes JET ULTRA premium unleaded and JET ULTRA premium diesel.  The fuel brand has completed its UK-wide roll out to all sites that previously offered JET premium fuels.

News

Property, vehicles and driver actions all covered under one policy

“We recognise that claims are often behaviour driven, which is why we have embedded Risk Management at the heart of every policy,” commented Stewart Ower, managing director of Compass Environmental As leaders in their respective industries, Evergreen Insurance Services and Compass Environmental Consultancy have joined forces to provide a unique insurance and risk management solution for fuel oil distributors. Alongside their insurance partner Aviva, one of the UK’s largest insurers, they have created ‘Oilshield’, a comprehensive insurance package to provide whole business protection, all under one policy. With ever increasing fines and significant reputational damage for causing environmental pollution, it has never been more important to have adequate protection if the worst should happen. Every year millions of deliveries are made to domestic and commercial premises. Getting it wrong, just once, could put you out of business. “Whether it’s the bulk storage of fuel at a depot, the transportation of fuel to clients or the delivery of fuel into their facilities, we recognise that each part of the journey presents its own unique obstacles,” said Dave Gardiner, of Evergreen Insurance Services. “That’s why Oilshield protects all aspects of fuel distribution operations – property, vehicles and driver actions all covered under one policy. “We recognise that claims are often behaviour driven, which is why we have embedded Risk Management at the heart of every policy,” commented Stewart Ower, managing director of Compass. “As part of an ongoing relationship, Compass Environmental will deliver a programme of risk management initiatives that are relevant to your business with emphasis on promoting continual improvement to minimise risk.” To discuss your insurance needs, call 020 3907 1361 or visit www.oilshield.co.uk.  

News

ESL Fuels develops innovative oil processing technology

ESL lab manager, Dave Barratt, carrying out fuel testing for third parties A low energy process has been developed by ESL Fuels in laboratory space at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park. The new and innovative Molexis technology will complement large volume production of diesel, heating oil and marine fuels from sites across the UK. The first production unit is currently being built and is expected to process up to 50 tonnes per hour and be capable of running on a 24/7 basis. “I am extremely excited by the potential for our new Molexis process, something which we’ve been working on at Thornton Science Park for the past two years,” said Stephen Whittaker, managing director for ESL Fuels.

News

Tank inspection robot in development

Phillips 66 and Square Robot have teamed up together to develop an autonomous robot that would enable petroleum storage tanks to remain in service for tank floor inspections. The robot is expected to enter service in mid-2018. Above ground storage tanks are routinely removed from service to be drained, opened and cleaned at great expense in order to evaluate tank bottoms. The new robot is being developed to automatically survey and map obstacles within a tank while the tank remains in static service, creating a specific route map allowing maximum coverage of the tank floor. Using the non-destructive testing (NDT) data gathered, a certified inspector will produce a floor thickness map allowing for a more accurate prediction of a tank floor’s remaining life.  Phillips 66 and Square Robot, a rapidly growing Boston based start-up, are advancing into the unmanned robotics inspection market through the joint development of an autonomous robot that would have the capability to inspect petroleum product storage tank floors while product remains in the tank. The untethered robot is being designed and will be certified for use in a wide range of petroleum products. “Our collaboration with Phillips 66 provides access to a significant team of experts in NDT inspection, safety, procedures and operations,” said Eric Levitt, Square Robot co-founder. “As a start-up, we would not have access to these tremendous resources outside of our core business of developing autonomous robots for confined spaces.” “Ensuring the integrity of our equipment is one of our top priorities and we are always looking for innovative new technologies to help us achieve this,” said Todd Denton, general manager, midstream operations, Phillips 66. “Our collaboration with Square Robot presents a unique opportunity to develop technology that will enable us to maintain our equipment and minimise disruption to our customers.” www.phillips66.com           www.squarerobots.com

News

IFC Inflow celebrates 30 years in business

The IFC team – on the front row Chris Underwood, Rick Bartaby, Greg Clarke, Katrina Flynn and Kiran Shaw with Stuart Warren, Gary Davies, Billie Chapple, Lee Biggins and Matt Ward on the back row Founded in 1987 as Industrial Flow Control to sell tanker loading and process metering equipment, today IFC Inflow is run by operations director Kiran Shaw and technical director Greg Clarke.

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Live demonstrations at your depot

To book MechTronic’s no-obligation demo, email brad@mechtronic.ltd.uk After positive feedback at this year’s FPS show, MechTronic has commissioned a new van – a mobile showcase –  which can now bring live equipment demonstrations right to your doorstep.

News

A new App for the fuel distributor

Managing director Simon Ahearne says SA1 Solutions has invested heavily in improving and upgrading the emtoo package A new App designed to save its users even more time and money has been launched by emtoo. The bespoke business management software package was first developed by Business Systems Services (BSS) almost 10 years ago. Two years ago BSS and its products were acquired by IT and communications company SA1 Solutions.  Managing director Simon Ahearne says the company has “subsequently invested heavily in improving and upgrading the package and one of the outcomes of this has been the development of the App.” “When offsite the App allows users to access the system via a smart phone or tablet computer. This means they can immediately make updates, synchronising data and limiting unnecessary paperwork. The software platform is already used by Guernsey Petroleum Distributors, Petroleum Distributors (Jersey) and Gas 4 Wales together with new client Oil 4 Wales which recently acquired Powys Petroleum. “emtoo software has dramatically lessened our administration time,” says John Cherry at Powys Petroleum.   The new App means that our people out on the road can get the job done a lot quicker with all information on deliveries automatically updated across all systems.”

News

New ultra-compact oil tank

(l-r) Jim Hunt and Kevin Kelleher who were involved in the production of Carbery Plastics’s first tank – a 1550L – 30 years ago, with Cal and Michael McCarthy beside the 650L Combi R – Carbery’s newest design This month Carbery Plastics is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the launch of a brand new oil tank. Over the last three decades, Carbery Plastics has embraced new design technology, developed a new generation of fuel tanks and welcomed the next generation of the McCarthy family to the business.   The company’s 40-strong workforce is managed by an experienced team with a passion for rotational moulding. Offering innovative fuel storage solutions and robust mobile fuel pumps, Carbery Plastics produces high quality oil tanks to European Standard EN13341 ensuring that tanks are fit for purpose.  Not only does its oil tank range meet European Standards, all tanks are fully OFTEC registered. Since the initial hand drawn designs of the company’s first oil tank, design techniques and technology have come on leaps and bounds. CAD has rapidly improved the design process allowing Carbery Plastics to simulate and modify designs more efficiently and more effectively whilst Finite Element Analysis tools enable the company to simulate the strain tanks must endure once in real world use. Carbery Plastics has a strong presence in the agricultural and construction sectors across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Backed by design improvements and increasing knowledge of customer requirements, the company was quick to develop both single skin and bunded oil tanks; the latter now required for all commercial, industrial and institutional installations in Ireland and the UK. To mark its 30th anniversary, Carbery Plastics is launching a new low capacity oil tank.  The ultra-compact Carbery 650 Litre Combi R is ideal for customers seeking a smaller tank for security and cash flow reasons; it also works well for households with renewable technologies where oil demand is less.www.carberyplastics.com

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At your service

Will Wood (south/south east), Richard Griffiths (north/north west) and Martin Adam (south/south west) Over the past 9 years, MechTronic has prided itself on providing a high quality customer service.  The company now has eight regionally deployed service engineers with fully stocked vans covering the whole of the UK.