Aura Engineering began working in the Mexico process petroleum market in 2016 when the Mexican gasoline market opened to include international operators. The first client we worked with in this exciting new market went on to open the first non-Pemex operated gasoline terminal in Mexico.
Due to the uncertainty of demand that a new market creates coupled with the impact of open season fuel market laws, our client wanted to break into the Mexican market with a solution that had less upfront capital and operating costs—together, we determined that transloading would fit this bill. Transloading offers clients the ability to have mobile equipment, a smaller footprint, and lower costs when compared to a fixed loading rack system and permanent storage tanks.
Our client’s terminal, located in San Luis Potosi, started up in late 2016 and consisted of transloading gasoline and diesel from railcars directly into transport and delivery trucks. The scope of services for this effort included: process calculations for equipment sizing, review of equipment specifications, development of wiring diagrams, and wireless communication system design. We also coordinated and participated in the start-up and commissioning of this transloading operation. During this project Aura developed a close working relationship with STSI, an engineering firm based in Mexico City. This relationship has helped us to ensure all design parameters meet Mexican governmental and regulatory requirements. STSI has also assisted us with document translation, so local fabricators and contractors can easily build from our designs.
In addition to standard transloading capabilities, we also designed a first-of-its-kind mobile transloading and additive injection unit mounted on a forty-foot long trailer for the client. Our design allows suppliers to load gasoline and diesel with special additive blends directly into transport trucks, ready for delivery to gas stations.
The transloading operation has been so successful for our client that they have contracted Aura to complete a design for permanent storage and a fixed truck loading rack with multi-product loading capability in each bay. The fixed loading rack accompanied with the transloading concept allows the terminal ultimate flexibility and ensures the terminal is marketable to multiple, varied interests with differing throughput needs. Aura will assist the terminal with start-up activities when it goes online in early 2019.