Aramco finds efficiency in aluminum tankers
More-efficient transport measures reduce number of trips, size of fleet.
Aramco recently replaced its carbon steel tanker fleet with higher quality, safer, and more fuel-efficient aluminum tanks. These tankers are utilized to transfer the refined products between Aramco’s domestic bulk plants.
The Domestic Sales and Logistics Department (DS&LD) incorporated the aluminum tankers mandate in the new hauling contract signed in 2015. Aramco has coordinated a review of aluminum tanker specifications by qualified inspection agencies.
The journey of the aluminum tankers is part of Aramco’s commitment for local hydrocarbon business to improve efficiency and safety, as well as protecting the environment. Close collaboration and alignment with our contractors have led to this successful journey and the reduction of trucks on the road, overall fuel consumption as well as the total emissions.
—Ahmed A. Al-Subaey, vice president of Marketing Sales and Supply Planning
In 2020 alone, at the 80% implementation phase, the conversion to aluminum tankers resulted in the elimination of roughly 34,000 trips on the roads by hauling trucks while delivering the same quantities, along with the related loading and offloading activities. By converting to aluminum tankers, Aramco was able to reduce the haulers’ fleet size by 17%, as aluminum tanks can carry more product volume, saving the consumption of 11 million liters of diesel fuel and reducing carbon emissions by 29,000 tons over the same period.
This is in addition to the fact that aluminum alloy is nonsparking, which reduces the likelihood of tanker fires caused by sparks. Unlike their carbon steel counterparts, aluminum tankers don’t require an internal coating to transport hydrocarbon products, such as jet fuel. The material is much more flexible and resistant to corrosion, which helps protect the integrity of refined product cargo and avoid cracks and leakage.
Carbon Steel Trucks: Weigh 9 tons with a capacity of 36,000 liters and limited flexibility.
Aluminum Trucks: Weigh 6 tons with a capacity of 42,000 liters and increased flexibility.
Based on its experience, Aramco has contributed its technical expertise to support the establishment of aluminum tanker standards and specifications. By participating with government entities, the company has also assisted in establishing uniform procedures for inspecting and accepting aluminum tankers in Saudi Arabia — and contributed to local content in creating two local manufacturers in addition to a list of accepted international companies who meet established market requirements.
The five-year plan to replace Aramco’s carbon steel tankers took into consideration the readiness of manufacturers and hauling contractors to meet the company’s targeted conversion timeline. To date, Aramco has added 3,390 aluminum tankers to address local transport needs for gasoline, diesel, jet, and kerosene fuels between its bulk plants.