Monday 17 July 2006

Mobile Petrol Stations

On the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur can be found the latest transportable station which is operated by Petronas. The unit is based on an Elf unit that has been around for a number of years. Despite public acceptance of road tankers on roads all over the world, mobile filling stations are rarely seen. Perhaps this is due to a safety concern over above-ground tanks. However, by using concrete filled double skin arrangements, tanks can be made perfectly safe - literally bullet proof. In fact, above ground tanks are environmentally superior to below ground tanks in respect of leak monitoring and coping with high water table situations.

Jamie Thompson, former London Fire Brigade, and now independent fire safety consultant is a highly respected authority on the subject. According to him, when armed with the latest technology fire fighting / monitoring systems, above ground installations can be sanctioned. The Agip "Winged" mobile station temporarily based in Prague a few years ago generated much interest around the world.

Most of this interest came from operators wishing to establish a network quickly and cheaply on short lease sites that may be too small to be considered for a regular station. The necessary monitoring / safety systems that are required do not necessarily make mobile petrol stations a cheaper option. The Mintat G3 range of mobile filling stations has again received much attention but overcoming planners' predjudices is still proving a great hurdle.

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