Founded in 2000 on a former Soviet navy base, DG Terminals is a liquid bulk tank terminal located on the ice-free port of Liepaja, Latvia. The terminal specialises in the movement of base oils, fuel oil, coal tar and other chemical bulk. Liepaja port is in operation 24/7 and welcomes over 96 vessels per year. A large proportion of exports are oils arriving by rail from Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine on their way to the European and African markets.
DG Terminals ensure that the bulk product arriving into the terminal is transferred in its entirety to the ships. This was a costly process prior to the install of Railweight’s Weighline in-motion weighing solution and supporting I-LINE2 software, particularly in winter. Winters in Latvia are harsh and temperatures often stay below freezing for months on end, sometimes reaching as low as -20°C. Due to its chemical and physical properties, coal tar needs to be heated to 60°C in order to be discharged and stored. In winter this is difficult and often product remains stuck to the sides of the tanks.
Before the Weighline solution was installed, DG Terminals would dip test each rail tank to see if it had fully discharged. However, the dip-test could not ascertain if tar was stuck to the sides of the tank. On average 250 tonnes of product could be lost per year, or 5% of product per car (3 tonnes).
Railweight installed a four pairs of Weighline transducers for a high accuracy solution. The system is mounted to the existing rail at the terminal and weighs each tank with an accuracy of better than +/- 0.5%. The solution also has video surveillance, for viewing the tanks as they are weighed. This is linked via an IP camera to Railweight’s web browser-based I-LINE2 data management software.
Janis Millers, Board Member of DG Terminals said of the Railweight system “The solution as a whole is great; the technology gives us highly accurate weight data on each tank. They system can also be serviced in Latvia which provides the reassurance that we have local support if required.”
Now that each tank is weighed as it arrives on site, DG Terminals know exactly how much oil or tar should be discharged from the tanks.
DG Terminal also handles chemicals which are governed by environmental regulations. All controlled substances must be documented carefully to make sure they have not been tampered with. Weighing the car easily documents that the substance has been completely discharged.
These documents are also used as additional proof for customs that the product has left the country in its entirety and to avoid additional tax charges. Prior to weighing the tanks the product shrinkage could not be easily monitored and often the paperwork for customs did not match the original customer’s totals.
Janis concluded, “We were very pleased with the speed of installation; the system was installed in just half a day. Our track is critical to our operation so minimal downtime was important when choosing a supplier. Railweight completed a professional job quickly and with little disruption.”