Portable bag-filling station successfully weathers the Alaskan wilderness
An Alaskan refinery needed bag-filling equipment to turn a petroleum by-product into a profitable commodity.
In May 2007, the Tesoro oil refinery in Kenai, Alaska, began producing an ultralow-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel in accordance with new emission standards established by the EPA. This cleaner-burning fuel contains 97 percent less sulfur than low-sulfur diesel (LSD) and significantly reduces sulfur and other emissions. When the refinery began this process, the sulfur removed from the oil had relatively little market value, so the refinery stored it in two large collection pits. However, when sulfur’s value increased five-fold, the refinery saw a business opportunity and decided to recover it from the pits and ship it to China for use as fertilizer. To accomplish this, the refinery enlisted the help of AIMM Technologies Inc., a Texas-based hydrokinetic pipe-cleaning company with a division in Kenai. The Alaska division provides industrial pipe- and tank-cleaning services and other contract and heavy-equipment services to the Alaskan oil and gas industry. Successfully completing the project required that AIMM Technologies find an effective and reliable way to put the sulfur into bulk bags, which would then be transported from the refinery to the port in Homer.