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Astron Energy, formerly Chevron South Africa, has officially opened its new Tank Truck Loading Rack (TTLR) at its Cape Town Refinery. The new state-of-the-art fuel loading facility replaces one that has been at the refinery since it was first constructed by Chevron in 1965. 

The new facility will increase filling efficiency at the refinery, halving loading time of an average 40 000 l fuel tanker to 30 minutes, according to the company. The quicker turnaround allows more trucks to be loaded per shift.

Astron Energy opens new fuel loading facility

The TTLR now has eight loading bays, each fully equipped to bottom load all of the petroleum products produced at the refinery. The bays are fitted with Accuload automation systems and Smith meter technology, along with Sculley overfill protection to prevent spills. Vapour recovery systems are in place to manage and contain emissions and the bays are each monitored by CCTV cameras, which assist with truck management from entry point to staging area. 

Astron spent R150-million on the TTLR, which was designed by Kantey & Templer. Local civil, mechanical and electrical engineering companies were contracted to complete the construction, which took just over two years and created 50 additional jobs in the Western Cape.

“This is a step change in the way we operate. The increased filling efficiency allows us to load more trucks per shift, thereby improving productivity and profitability for the haulers as they are able to deliver more product per day to our customers, retailers, Branded Marketers and distributors,” said Danie Gouws, General Manager: Regional Transport and Operations, Astron Energy, at the opening of the new TTLR. 

Astron Energy has a network of about 850 Caltex-branded service stations, under licence from Chevron. The Milnerton refinery is capable of producing 100 000 bbl/d of petroleum-based products, including petrol, diesel, jet fuel, liquid petroleum gas, and bitumen gas.

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