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Re-filling a 236m underground fuel storage tank from a holding tank on the surface

Automatic Long Distance Fuel Transfer and Re-filling to Underground Tank


Our client was looking for a more efficient solution to refill their mining equipment 236m underground. The system was to remove all human interference to avoid any safety risks and overfilling of the underground tank.

The Challenge:

One of the biggest challenges of this project was that PETRO Industrial had to install electrical equipment at an underground Coal mine that was not only to specific AS & Mining standards, but over a distance of 236m.

PETRO installed a tailored PLC Monitor & Switchboard system that was customised to the specifications given to us by our client.

The Solution:

PETRO Industrial’s Engineers and Electricians worked together to come forth with a perfect, automated and error-free solution.

The solution consists of a combination of 3 Bulk fuel storage tanks, all effortlessly controlled by a PLC HMI console located within the lockable pump bay with remote access directly to the customer.

Automatic long distance fuel transfer solutions by PETRO Industrial


The design:

The PETRO LT68,000L Diesel Bulk Fuel Containerised tank houses both of the  pumping equipment in the lockable Pump bay. 

From the LT68,000L Tank, the fuel will be transferred into a smaller above ground PETRO PC Cube series Batch tank, with the total capacity of 4,500L but altered to only have a safe fill level of 2,500L. Fuel will then be transferred the full distance of 236m underground to the second PETRO PC Cube Batch tank with total capacity of 8,000L and altered safe fill level of 4,000L. 

The transfer tanks capacity has been altered as a safety measure since the fuel will be transferring a long distance allowing for a delay in demand/control between the batch tanks. When the above ground Batch tank turns off, the fuel will still transfer to the underground tank for the full distance of 236m. This safety measure will make it impossible for the underground batch tank to overflow due to human error. 

The control panel has been fitted with an HMI Screen that can easily be accessed from the above ground LT68,000L Bulk tank. The HMI screen can access all information and open pumps to start the refilling process from the Bulk tank, through to the above ground batch tank and down to the underground batch tank.

There is a lot of safety considerations in place to be able to bypass systems for maintenance, or any form of downtime. These provisions have been put in place to have an Emergency stop point at the underground tank that will connect through optic fiber cable and transfer the E-Stop command through data to the Bulk fuel tank. Allowing full remote control from the PLC Screen, as well as the site office. 

The PLC Console has full control over the pumping equipment to remove any human error once again and will automatically switch the fuel pump off, when the tanks have reached the safe fill capacity. 

The above ground batch tank has flood switches that will automatically trigger the pump to start pumping the above ground Batch tank from the 68,000L tank. Once the tank has reached its safe fill level, the pump will switch off. The batch tank will stay at this safe fill level, until the underground Batch tank signals to be refilled and automatically release the fuel. The underground Batch tank will turn off the second pump that is transferring the fuel underground once it has reached its capacity, taking into consideration of the 236m distance the fuel needs to travel. 

The success of this project is on the Automation of the pumping equipment. 

PETRO has delivered a solution that removes all possibility of error and allowing the client to have full control of the refill of their underground mining vehicles.

65,000L Self-bunded Liquitainer (LT) Fuel Storage Tank

Long distance above the ground to below the ground fuel transfer 

PETRO Industrial Self-bunded CUBE fuel storage tank

Custom fitted fuel transfer and dispensing equipment on a Cube Tank

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