Hello, it’s Anna again. On Thursday, I got a tour of the tank farm alongside the SMSA intern, Nathanielle and Ryan, conducted by Mr. Jaimie Formert, Tank Farm Manager. What is a tank farm, you ask? It is the storage site for all the fuel and fuel-related products SEYPEC purchases, some tanks are also rented out to SEYPEC’s current supplier. So we marched, clad in clunky safety shoes and safety helmets, amongst the towering tanks (ranging from 20m to 25m high). The farm is separated into two sections, North and South, the North tank farm consists of the oldest tanks (some even dating from 1972) whilst the South tank farm contains the newest (some even built by Vijay). The black ones pictured contains fuel oil, and it is painted black to absorb light from the sun and help to keep the temperature of the product at a higher level than the observed temperature (i.e. normal temperature).Whilst the green tanks are an assortment of other products types supplied by SEYPEC like MOGAS, Jet A1, Gasoline, kerosene.
Mr. Formert pointed out the various safety measures throughout the tank farm. You will notice in the pictures below of the red and yellow pipes, they respectively hold freshwater and foam. The current foam SEYPEC uses is FireAide which is more environmentally-friendly and more effective than the previous foam used, as stated by Mr. Maringo, health, safety & environment officer. The fresh water pumps and foam pump are always on; back-up supplies are also near the high-risk areas. The sprinklers are on top of the tanks to stifle any possible flames as well as connected through piston-life structures meant to deal with external flames. SEYPEC even has its own fire truck and its proximity to the fire brigade on Praslin and in Victoria ensures that fire-related incidents will be quickly dealt with. You will also notice a wall that surrounds the tanks; these are bund walls, meant to contain any leakage of fuel from the tanks.
We also visited the LPG tanks (12 in total) with a capacity of 2,200 MT. As well as viewing the filling process of the canisters; the large ones e.g. 24kg and the small ones e.g. 5 kg are separated. First the canisters are passed through a machine where they are cleaned (sort of like a car wash) with cold water mixed with a chemical. The next station is the filling station where the LPG is filled into the canisters to the adequate amount, and off it passes to the sealing station where leaks are checked and then sealed by heating a plastic seal by 150 degrees Celsius.
After the tour, my respect grew exponentially for SEYPEC due to their emphasis on safety procedures as well as limiting their effects to the environment. I also grew a large respect for the operatives as I believe they have the most physically demanding jobs, working in any weather conditions for the daily checks like dipping (checking volume of product in the tanks) as well as heavy lifting the LPG canisters, which is why I urge readers to buy the new lighter LPG canisters to make their lives easier.
Did you know?
- SEYPEC’s tank farm is the largest in the Indian Ocean
- Tank 28 is has the largest capacity, it can hold forty five million liters (45,000,000) of fuel
- Tanks from SHELL company which are 44 years old, are still used
- There are in total 28 tanks and 12 LPG bullet tanks
- Bund walls can hold the same volume of fuel as the tanks