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African Petrochemicals is Africa’s leading bi-monthly print and digital trade magazine featuring all the latest petrochemical industry news, special reports, technological advances etc.

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Firefighting innovation for fuel storage facility

A runaway fire in any environment presents a challenge, but a potential fire in one of the largest fuel storage facilities in the country requires the brightest minds in the country to present a fire fighting solution.  This was the case when the Durban fuel storage facility, Natcos, identified the need for a new and upgraded solution to prevent potential disaster.

Natcos approached Consulting firm Kantey & Templer to conduct a feasibility study.  The study identified a solution consisting of a trailer, monitor (water canon) and foam dosing pump.

Once the budgets had been approved, Kentey & Templer produced a comprehensive technical document, with DoseTech – a Cape based company – being awarded the job.

The final product is a first of its kind in the world, specially designed for the site and manufactured by a German company – Firedos GmbH.

The unit comprises a trailer – which makes the system mobile, and which is towable behind a 1 ton bakkie.  This serves as the base for a ‘water cannon” – which is known as the monitor.  This monitor unit is manually operated and easy and safe to use by means of hand wheels with self locking gears.  The fire dosing pump is capable of (what kind of output)

The German manufacturers – Firedos  – introduced dosing technology  about 30 years ago and uses a turbine water motor coupled up onto a dosing pump which allows it to be run completely independent of any power source –  the use of proportional positive displacement also means that it has a very low minimum flow to max flow of 22000 l minute.  The system uses compressed air foam to extinguish fires and across the flow, the dosage is accurate at 3%.    The nozzle is suitable for use with water and premixed water solution and the stream pattern can be changed from jet to spray pattern, depending on the nature and size of the fire.

 The foam concentrate which is added into the water flow is made up of (protein foam) and is the most effective means of extinguishing a fuel fire…

The flow rate of the nozzle can be changed in the range of 100% to 25% manually, even during operation without having to switch anything off.

The system is fed from hydrants through 8 x 110 lay flat hoses to supply sufficient water pressure and the foam suction is fed by 1 x110mm reinforced solid hose.  The foam concentrate is supplied by 2 foam tankers one in operation and one on standby

The trailer piping was manufactured to the German Standard AD2000 and is approved standard by the Department of Labour SANS347:2012.


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