PLX fuels ground-breaking service station

The award-winning Gloucester Service Station has hit the headlines for its unique business model and our Gloucester Services Forecourtspecialist fuel conveyance pipework system, PLX, has been integral to its success. The £40m project to construct two new service stations on the M5 between J11a and J12 is a partnership between Westmorland Ltd. and local charity Gloucester Gateway Trust. The first of its kind in the UK, the new Northbound M5 Services has been specifically designed with the community at its heart. Only using suppliers from the region and employing local residents, the partnership is also committed to investing its profits into local community projects – at least £10m over the next 20 years.

With a large volume of traffic passing through the service station, the requirements for the forecourt were complex and Lynx Forecourt Ltd was tasked with delivering a fit-for-purpose solution. To fulfill the pipework element of the build project, Lynx Forecourt turned to one of the UK’s leading forecourt equipment suppliers, Berrys Fuelling Technologies.

Durapipe PLX was specified for the project as it could cater for all of the required pipework for such a large-scale project. With 11 fuel dispensing islands distributing petrol and diesel for supply to cars and lightweight commercial vehicles and diesel and AdBlue for supply to HGVs, a reliable network of pipes needed to be installed to distribute the different fuels across the forecourt dispensing points.

Six underground storage tanks have been installed to hold petrol, diesel and AdBlue, Durapipe dual contained PLX in size 63#75mm was used to connect to the tank outlets and pump fuel to the dispensers.

Dual contained PLX Fill and Vent pipe in size 110#160mm has been supplied for the offset fill lines to improve flow and reduce UST fill time. PLX dual contained pipe was also used for the vapour recovery lines to safely transfer fuel vapour from the dispensers to the underground storage tanks, without fear of permeation into the environment or inappropriate release into the atmosphere.

The complex requirements of the project saw several challenges raised during the installation process, including tackling an issue with sump depths. The forecourt was designed with just a 600mm depth from the pump island to the canopy base, which meant the space did not allow for dual contained fittings to connect the pipe to the sump chambers. This issue was overcome by reducing the connections to single wall PLX, and connecting the closures on the test ports with tubing, to allow for constant monitoring. Commenting on the project, Tom Hocking, Sales Director of Berrys Fuelling Technologies, said: “This is one of the largest forecourt projects we have been involved with and with such complex requirements we needed a pipework manufacturer and a system solution we could trust and we never considered anything other than Durapipe PLX.

Gloucester Services“Offering a one-stop-shop solution for us, Durapipe PLX was able to fulfill all of the requirements for the job, meaning we only needed to deal with one manufacturer, which was a big advantage on this project.”

The landmark northbound Gloucester service station was completed in summer 2014 and has seen 30,000 visitors a week pass through it. The successful delivery of the forecourt, from Lynx Forecourt, has been honoured by the Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration (APEA), by receiving the accolade of ‘Fuel installation of the year’ at the annual APEA awards in November.

Work has now commenced on the £27m project to construct the southbound service station with Durapipe’s PLX system being installed to cater for the complete range of fuel supply requirements including product lines, fills, vents and vapour recovery.

Durapipe PLX is a below ground pipework product range specifically developed to fulfil the application needs of the forecourt market. The PLX range consists of both single wall and dual contained pipe and fittings and is purpose-designed for the safe transfer of liquid fuels and their vapours.

PLX is manufactured as a multilayer pipe utilising the superior mechanical characteristics of polyethylene as a base material, which enables the pipe to be permanently welded using electrofusion technology. Providing exceptional resistance to rapid crack propagation and long term stress cracking, PLX comprises a protective liner, which increases permeation resistance against many types of fuel blends ensuring there is no permeation of fuel through the pipe wall into the environment.