• If applicable

Frequently asked questions

Here you will find all our current FAQ’s for fuel tank related questions. If what you are looking for is not listed below feel free to get in touch with us via our email: [email protected]

General Help

What is bulk fuel storage?

Fuel storage comes in many forms, whether you are filling up a tank on a car or truck, or whether you are filling up a piece of machinery such as a tractor or digger. The chances are you are pumping this from a bulk fuel storage system.

‘Bulk Fuel’ is essentially bulk petroleum fuel, usually more than 200L which is stored in a bulk fuel tank such as an above ground fuel tank, or underground fuel tank. This storage system will hold the bulk of the fuel and can range up to 110,000L.

Other storage means for grand scale bulk fuel are terminal fuel tanks (such as pictured below). An oil depot (sometimes called a tank farm, tank farm, installation or oil terminal) is an industrial facility for the storage of oil and/or petrochemical products and from which these products are usually transported to end users or further storage facilities. These stock millions of litres of fuel, and usually are supplies for towns, cities and in some cases countries.

What is bulk fuel storage?

Terminal farm image.

Bulk fuel storage is seen as a benefit for a variety of industries. When it comes to fleet operators, heavy machinery companies, logging companies or even higher companies, the cost benefits of having a bulk fuel storage solution allows a quick ROI on investment and also limits downtime for many industries, along with hourly rated labour costs. You can give our tank savings calculator a try to see if that could help your business:

Each country also has strict guidelines when it comes to storing bulk fuel based on the classification of the fuel and also whether it needs to be secondary contained.

This next FAQ will help to guide you through whether or not your bulk fuel storage tank needs secondary containment: How do I know if my fuel tank needs secondary containment?

Compliance is key when it comes to storing bulk fuel and it is essential that rules and regulations are followed for the safe management of fuel. The penalties for not complying with the legislation can include imprisonment and large fines.

If you have any questions around bulk fuel storage feel free to contact the team at Fuelchief and we are happy to answer your questions: [email protected]

How do I know if my fuel tank needs secondary containment?

The controls for hazardous substances that are liquids, or are likely to liquefy in a fire, include a requirement to be able to capture the substances in the event they are released from their primary container. This is achieved by means of a secondary containment system. Our staff have extensive experience right across the country and would love to help you today. Call us today to discuss your requirements: [email protected]

As a general rule, the following sets out the threshold quantities for secondary containment

  • Petrol (not on a farm) 1000 litres
  • Petrol (on a farm) 2000 litres
  • Diesel (not on a farm) 1000 litres
  • Diesel (on a farm) 2000 litres

Quantities above these thresholds require secondary containment.

Here is a helpful link and information that may be useful. Generally, these are minefields to work through so please don’t hesitate to call one of our staff who will help you through it.

Is there a different legislation between Petrol and Diesel tanks?

Storing Petrol

Petrol is highly flammable and is one of the most hazardous substances that we use. Because it is so easily ignited, you must handle it with great care.

As well as being flammable, petrol is poisonous. If you accidentally swallow petrol, call a doctor at once. Do not induce vomiting. If you get petrol in your eyes, flush with water for at least 15 minutes and call a doctor. Petrol on your skin may not initially appear to be a problem, but prolonged or repeated liquid contact can lead to irritation or dermatitis. Breathing petrol fumes is dangerous. Exposure to vapour concentrations can cause respiratory irritation, headache, dizziness, nausea and loss of coordination. Higher concentrations may cause loss of consciousness, cardiac sensitisation, coma and death resulting from respiratory failure. Petroleum vapour can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and exposure to high concentrations, particularly in confined spaces, can cause dizziness and unconsciousness.

Most importantly, never swallow petrol or diesel or attempt to use the mouth to siphon it. This can result in it entering the lungs or stomach, which can be fatal.

You need to be extra careful if you’re planning to store petrol, Worksafe have an excellent site in which you should find most of your answers.

 

Storing Diesel

While diesel is not a particularly flammable substance, it is an environmental hazard with considerable clean-up costs if it should leak into a drain, watercourse or the soil.

Diesel is a hazardous substance and two grades of diesel fuel are approved for use in New Zealand:

  • automotive gas oil and marine diesel
  • low flash point diesel

For simplicity, both are treated as flammable liquids, low hazard.

In addition, diesel may be blended with biodiesel in quantities up to 99 percent biodiesel. The biodiesel is non-hazardous but the blends are treated as flammable liquids, low hazard. As a flammable liquid, low hazard diesel will burn, but not as easily as a flammable liquid, such as petrol.

While storing diesel is the most common and relatively simple compared to petrol, there are a number of factors that need considering so click this link which you’ll find very helpful then give one of our guys a call and we’ll make your installation simple.

How can I get a better price on my fuel?

Our customers tell us that by storing fuel onsite they are saving between $0.10-$0.20 cents per litre. This is on top of previous savings they had when running fuel cards and accounts with their local fuel supplier. You can estimate your fuel savings by using our online tank savings calculator here: https://fuelchieftanks.com/depot-tank-savings-calculator/

How can I reduce downtime for my staff during their shift?

There are a number of ways, but when it comes to re-fuelling having a tank onsite is what will save you in staff costs. Instead of travelling out of their way and spending valuable shift hours refuelling, staff workers can fill their vehicles on site without having to travel to a service station. These can also be filled outside shift hours to then limit any lost travel time.  You can see how much your business can save on labour time via our tank savings calculator. Some of our customers have noticed through onsite refuelling they have been able to save significantly, such as Selwyn Hester who owns Tyre Doctor in Australia, check out his video below.

 

How can I better track the efficiency of my vehicles and machinery?

Sapphire Fuel Management gives you the power to track and analyse fuel usage for all your vehicles.For more information on Sapphire Fuel Management visit our Fuel Management Terminals section.

Does Fuelchief offer finance for their DC and DCD Series tanks?

Fuelchief is pleased to offer flexible payment arrangements for our clients. We offer finance through our finance partners in Australia and New Zealand. If you would like to work out a finance option that best suits you, check out the finance section in our tank savings calculator. You can generate a finance estimate for your ideal tank by completing our online calculator tool.

For more information on our finance terms and conditions contact us today.

Questions relevant to Australia

How do I know if I need site certification for my fuel tank?

Site certification can be a difficult process and we recommend making contact as early as possible with the right test certifier or compliance body that can help. You could either contact us, (see details below) and we can recommend the right person for you. Our staff have extensive experience right across the country and are likely to save you a lot of frustration. Call us today to discuss your requirements. [email protected] 

If you would like to continue the search yourself, here are some helpful links although we do recommend you make yourself familiar with the general Australian Standards that do apply country-wide

AS 1940:2017 – The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids

AS-1692:2006 – Steel tanks for flammable and combustible liquids

Queensland – This information details the legislative requirements, including safety requirements, standards and codes, for the petroleum and gas industry in Queensland. For additional information, read the technical guidelines for operating plant and the technical guidelines for gas work.

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/mining/safety-health/petroleum-gas/technical/guidelines-policies

New South Wales This code of practice provides comprehensive practical guidance on the safe storage and handling of substances and articles classified as dangerous goods, apart from explosives, infectious substances and radioactive substances.

http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/50729/storage-handling-dangerous-goods-1354.pdf

Victoria This code of practice provides practical guidance on how to comply with your obligations under Victoria’s occupational health and safety legislation for the safe storage and handling of dangerous goods.

https://prod.wsvdigital.com.au/sites/default/files/2018-06/ISBN-Code-of-practice-for-the-storage-handling-dangerous-goods-2013-09.pdf

South Australia – New Dangerous Substances (General) Regulations took effect in September

https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/R/DANGEROUS%20SUBSTANCES%20(GENERAL)%20REGULATIONS%202017/CURRENT/2017.258.AUTH.PDF

A licence is required for LP gas (class 2.1), flammable liquids (class 3), toxic substances (class 6) and corrosive substances (Class 8) when certain limits are exceeded.

https://www.safework.sa.gov.au/law-compliance/licensing/apply-licence/chemical-substance-licences/dangerous-substance-storage?id=2576

Northern Territory – Major hazard facilities (MHF) are sites that store, handle and process large quantities of hazardous chemicals and dangerous goods, including explosives and fuels.This site has some very useful information and further links to help and assist with compliance in your area.

http://www.worksafe.nt.gov.au/SafetyAndPreventions/Pages/Major-Hazard-Facilities.aspx

Western Australia – The safety codes can be found here: https://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Dangerous-Goods/Dangerous-goods-safety-codes-of-6508.aspx

Who do I talk to about fuel tank site certification?

Getting your tank set up right and in accordance with state legislation can be a difficult process and we recommend making contact as early as possible with the right certifier or compliance body that can help. You could either contact us, (see details below) and we can recommend the right person for you. Our staff have extensive experience right across the country and are likely to save you a lot of frustration. Call us today to discuss your requirements or email us at: [email protected]

Can I claim a tax rebate on a fuel tank if I am using it for business?

The Australian Government offers tax incentives for those who are purchasing assets for their business (up to $150,000*). Visit the following page to find out more regarding this rebate offer: https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Depreciation-and-capital-expenses-and-allowances/Simpler-depreciation-for-small-business/Instant-asset-write-off/

Questions relevant to New Zealand

How do I know if I need site certification for my fuel tank?

Site certification can be a difficult process and we recommend making contact as early as possible with the right test certifier that can help. You could either contact us, (see details below) and we can recommend the right person for you. Our staff have extensive experience right across the country and are likely to save you a lot of frustration. Call us today to discuss your requirements: [email protected]

If you would like to continue the search yourself, here are some helpful links although we do recommend you make yourself familiar with the general New Zealand Standards that do apply country-wide

AS 1940:2017 – The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids

AS-1692:2006 – Steel tanks for flammable and combustible liquids

Safe Work Instrument 2017 – Reduced secondary Containment for certain above ground stationary tanks

All the information you need about Diesel

While diesel is not a particularly flammable substance, it is an environmental hazard with considerable clean-up costs if it should leak into a drain, watercourse or the soil.

Diesel does not require a Location Compliance Certificate or a certified handler. When stored in a bulk storage tank of more than 5,000 litres, a Stationary container compliance certificate is required. This is also the case if the diesel is used in connection with an oil burning installation or an internal combustion engine, such as a generator. In this case, the threshold could be as low as 60 litres. There are exceptions where the diesel is used in a domestic oil burning installation. Check out this helpful guide to help you work out if your stationary container system needs a compliance certificate.

Diesel may be kept in a store room in a building, but the store room must have a fire resistance rating or a fire rated tank and the quantities allowed are limited, as is the package size.

If you are storing diesel on a farm, the rules are slightly different for diesel stored if your farm is more than four hectares. Check out this helpful guide on Above ground fuel storage on farms.

All the information you need about Petrol

Petrol is highly flammable and is one of the most hazardous substances that we use. Because it is so easily ignited, you must handle it with great care. If this is you, we recommend getting in touch with the right test certifier as early as possible.

All the information you need about Used or Waste Oil

If used oil is not stored, used or disposed of properly it can harm people and the environment. For example, it can contaminate ground and surface water, which can damage drinking water and aquatic life. If you follow the code, you will minimise the impact of used oil on people and the environment and comply with HSNO.

Check out this ‘Code of Practice regarding used oil’.

Check out this paper on the ‘Management and handling of used oil’.

Who do I talk to about fuel tank site certification?

Site certification can be a difficult process and we recommend making contact as early as possible with the right test certifier that can help. You could either contact us, (see details below) and we can recommend the right person for you. Our staff have extensive experience right across the country and are likely to save you a lot of frustration. Call us today to discuss your requirements or email [email protected]

If you would like to continue the search yourself, here is a helpful link;

Register of Compliance Certifiers

This register provides information on compliance certifiers authorised by WorkSafe to issue compliance certificates under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017.

Where can I place a fuel tank on my property?

If you’re in New Zealand

Site certification can be a difficult process and we recommend making contact as early as possible with the right test certifier that can help. You could either contact us, (see details below) and we can recommend the right person for you. Our staff have extensive experience right across the country and are likely to save you a lot of frustration. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

If you would like to continue the search yourself, here are some helpful links and information that may be helpful.

Threshold quantities for secondary containment

The regulations made under the HSNO Act establish the following thresholds for secondary containment of petrol and diesel.

  • Petrol (not on a farm) 1000 litres
  • Petrol (on a farm) 2000 litres
  • Diesel (not on a farm) 1000 litres
  • Diesel (on a farm) 2000 litres

Quantities above these thresholds require secondary containment.

Class Typically Criteria
3.1A Petrol, Avgas A flammable liquid that has a flash point of less than 23 degrees Celsius and has an IBP of less than or equal to 35 degrees Celsius.
3.1B Some Solvents A flammable liquid that has a flash point of less than 23 degrees Celsius and has an IBP of greater than 35 degrees Celsius.
3.1C JET A-1, Kerosene, Turps A flammable liquid that has a flash point of greater than or equal to 23 degrees Celsius, but less than or equal to 60 degrees Celsius.
3.1D Diesel A flammable liquid that has a flash point of greater than 60 degrees Celsius, but less than or equal to 93 degrees Celsius.

Separation distances

The table below is a guide only and you should select the links through to the NZ Legislation in order to get the full context of the meaning.

Distance from a ‘Protected Place’ also known as High Intensity Land Use (HILU) ‘Public Plae’ also known as Low Intensity Land Use (LILU)
Capacity of your tank (Litres) 3.1A, 3.1B, 3.1C 3.1D 3.1A, 3.1B, 3.1C
Up to 600 2 0 0
1,000 2 1.5 0
2,500 3 2 0
5,000 4 3 2
25,000 5 4 3
50,000 6 5 4
100,000 7 6 4

Protected place includes – (HILU)

  • a dwelling, residential building, place of worship, public building, school or college, hospital, child care facility, or theatre, or any building or open area in which persons are accustomed to assembling in large numbers, whether within or outside the property boundary of a place where a hazardous substance location is situated:
  • any factory, workshop, office, store, warehouse, shop, or building where persons are regularly employed, whether within or outside the property boundary of a place where a hazardous substance location is situated:
  • a ship lying at permanent berthing facilities:
  • a public railway; but

does not include a small office or other small building associated with a place where storage, handling, use, manufacture, or disposal of a class 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 8 substance is a major function

 

Public place – (LILU)

  • means a place (other than private property or a protected place) that is open to, and frequented by, the public; and
  • includes a public road

 

Notes:

WorkSafe New Zealand may reduce the separation distance for tanks which are constructed and tested to SWRI 95-03 upon application under Schedule 10 clause 33 of the Transfer Notice or clause 44 of the Site and Storage Conditions for class 3.1 Flammable Liquids.

 

Tanks on farms may be located in accordance with the provisions specified in Schedule 6 of the Transfer Notice. These are outlined in the Above Ground Storage on Farms Good Practice Guidelines.