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Man the pumps – wireless safety shutoff control for marine refuelling depot


AJ Robson (Electrical) Ltd is an Aberdeen based contractor with more than thirty years experience in the installation, repair and maintenance of electrical systems. The company designs, builds, tests and installs certified systems for an established client base in the industrial and petro-chemical industries.

Highland Fuels relies on AJ Robson for its electrical contracting. This independent company has supplied domestic and commercial fuels throughout Scotland since the late 1950s, expanding from its Inverness base to operate from 10 depots across Scotland. As part of a £10million redevelopment of the Angus Harbour at the Scottish port of Montrose, Highland Fuels opened a new fuel terminal alongside the deepwater berth which has been designed to attract vessels supplying North Sea oil and gas fields.


Highland Fuels offers pipeline delivery of commercial marine fuel from the storage at Montrose to the quayside for ocean going and offshore vessels. The gas and oil requires strict flow control with an operator at the quayside as well as the provision of a remote failsafe shut off for safety.


AJ Robson was tasked with creating a pump control system. With distances of up to two hundred metres it was decided that a wireless, rather than an expensive cabled link was required to control the inhibitors on the pump should the pipeline need to be quickly shut down. To create the necessary digital wireless link, AJ Robson turned to wireless specialists Wood & Douglas.

Wood & Douglas supplied its OpenNET 3000 UHF digital radio link which incorporates an audio transceiver base station. As part of the network commission, Wood & Douglas was asked to specify an easy to use solution should a shutdown be required when operators are away from the main control. To extend control of the pumps from anywhere across the site, Wood and Douglas supplied a set of Motorola hand held radios. These were pre-configured with regulated license push button controls to communicate with the OpenNET network via the audio transceiver. This highly portable, simple to use, yet secure solution enables any of the Highland Fuels’ site staff with a radio handset to instantly shut down the pump with the touch of a button ensuring safe operation during refuelling.

  • Cost effective alternative to cable in complex, potentially hazardous environment
  • Monitoring and control, with secure, remote access over audio

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