How much fuel do you need?

Pork Hunt 8 April 2012 49

The Canberra Times tells us that ASIO wants to store 600,000 litres of diesel fuel at their new HQ to run back up power generators.

April fools day was last week, what’s going on?

600,000 lt is about 15 semi trailer tanker loads of diesel fuel which would be enough to run the biggest genny in the world for about 10 years.


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49 Responses to How much fuel do you need?
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Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 11:23 am 08 Apr 12

Well, when it goes up in flames, at least it’ll become another national tourist attraction we can be proud of?

This is 1500ltrs burning-

http://youtu.be/qzi8Ull24KQ

Gonna need a big hose!

Deref Deref 11:44 am 08 Apr 12

Enough to protect us from the terrists.

Innovation Innovation 12:40 pm 08 Apr 12

I’m very surprised that this didn’t come up at the design stage. If it had, I imagine that there would have been a larger reaction than there likely will be now. I still find it strange that spooks would want such a prominent and easily identifiable building. It’s almost like they are chiseling away at what they need.

gooterz gooterz 1:01 pm 08 Apr 12

This sounds more like after the end of the world lets rebuild we will need some fuel!

“modern diesel plant will consume between 0.28 and 0.4 litres of fuel per kilowatt hour at the generator terminals.”

0.6 Million litres = 1.5 Gigawatt hours!

p996911turbo p996911turbo 1:10 pm 08 Apr 12

Well, a 2MW generator burns about 500 L/hr, so if you have 4 of those running at full load that much fuel would only last 2 weeks.

It would be a pretty big computer that requires 8 MW, though… And if you’re looking at 2 weeks without the grid you probably have bigger problems.

    johnboy johnboy 1:16 pm 08 Apr 12

    Considering we’d want asio very much up and running in the event of major sabotage of the power grid, perhaps not a bad idea?

I-filed I-filed 1:25 pm 08 Apr 12

Innovation said :

I’m very surprised that this didn’t come up at the design stage. If it had, I imagine that there would have been a larger reaction than there likely will be now. I still find it strange that spooks would want such a prominent and easily identifiable building. It’s almost like they are chiseling away at what they need.

It will have come up at the design stage – I’m sure they strategically timed the request to be pretty much a fait accompli … on the bright side, maybe interest in the redevelopment slated for next to Anzac Parade, and in prime position for a roasting, toasting & broiling in the event of any diesel fireball disaster, might drop off a little.

screaming banshee screaming banshee 1:40 pm 08 Apr 12

Sounded like a reasonable argument until you started with that biggest genny/10 years nonsense. As it turns out they have many, and the 1.5gwh is only 2000kw for a month. Big buildings use lots of power, and these guys will be looking at a monthly power bill of probably 200-300k

PoQ PoQ 2:37 pm 08 Apr 12

johnboy said :

Considering we’d want asio very much up and running in the event of major sabotage of the power grid, perhaps not a bad idea?

If ASIO couldn’t prevent the putative attack, then they’re falling down on their job. Once the attack happens, it’ll be the police who’ll track the baddies down, and the power company’s sparkies who’ll get the system going again – assuming they can get the parts from China.

SnapperJack SnapperJack 2:47 pm 08 Apr 12

Spooks in this country seem to crave publicity. Every few weeks we seem to get an update about the ASIO building and some new way of spending more money.

It is worth remembering that until 1977 the security forces were in fact secret. ASIO was the only one known to the public. Malcolm Fraser as PM in May 1977 gave details about ASIS, ONA, DSD and JIO in a speech to Parliament. Since then they’ve hardly been out of the news at all.

And I would have thought that having a huge building in a very exposed position along one of Canberra’s main ceremonial thoroughfares on the shores of LBG would be just asking for trouble.

c_c c_c 3:00 pm 08 Apr 12

PoQ said :

Once the attack happens, it’ll be the police who’ll track the baddies down,

Got news for you, ASIO has moved beyond the Cold War chasing commies focus. They would be very much involved.

Also, might want to change “Once the attack happens” to “If an attack happens” – way you said it sounds a tad too definite and may just earn a visit from ASIO.

shauno shauno 5:01 pm 08 Apr 12

Just common sense really. Better to be prepared for anything then not.

600,000 litres is about 600 cubic metres or a space I think its a space of 8.4m height by width and length if its a box shape but my dodgy math might be wrong.

dazzab dazzab 5:28 pm 08 Apr 12

I reckon that building is fake and just a diversion. The real ASIO is probably deep under the lake accessed from a secret door in the Carillon. But don’t tell anyone.

2620watcher 2620watcher 8:05 pm 08 Apr 12

Any idea how much fuel an ‘average’ petrol station stores in its underground tanks?

I have an ex underground tank gravity feeding my garden their bore water. It’s 68,000L in size. So assume 3 or 4 of them in an average petrol station (diesel, ULP, PULP, E10).

So say a shade under 300Kl.

So ASIO are looking to store twice what a petrol station does?

Doesn’t sound that bad.

milkman milkman 8:43 pm 08 Apr 12

It’s understandable that ASIO would want plenty of fuel available to run the generators in the event of a major failure or event, but the problem will be that the fuel will eventually go off, and then they will need to work out how to dispose of, and replace it in a sensible manner.

Many data centres around town have diesel tanks to run their generators, but not that amount.

It would be interesting to see the actual threat assessments and business impact analysis that was used to arrive at a figure of 600,000 litres.

PrinceOfAles PrinceOfAles 10:58 pm 08 Apr 12

2620watcher said :

Any idea how much fuel an ‘average’ petrol station stores in its underground tanks?

I have an ex underground tank gravity feeding my garden their bore water. It’s 68,000L in size. So assume 3 or 4 of them in an average petrol station (diesel, ULP, PULP, E10).

So say a shade under 300Kl.

So ASIO are looking to store twice what a petrol station does?

Doesn’t sound that bad.

If my memory serves me correctly (which it may not) some of the medium/large shell servos around the joint had in the order of 250,000 – 500,000L total divided between 4-8 tanks.

arescarti42 arescarti42 11:27 pm 08 Apr 12

2620watcher said :

Any idea how much fuel an ‘average’ petrol station stores in its underground tanks?

I have an ex underground tank gravity feeding my garden their bore water. It’s 68,000L in size. So assume 3 or 4 of them in an average petrol station (diesel, ULP, PULP, E10).

So say a shade under 300Kl.

So ASIO are looking to store twice what a petrol station does?

Doesn’t sound that bad.

Some unverified sources on the interwebs suggest that storage at petrol stations ranges from about 40,000L for a small, local shops type servo, up to 130,000L for large, truck stop on the Hume High way type servos. It is probably not an unreasonable assertion, that sort of storage capacity would be fuel for about 600 – 1900 cars with 70 litre tanks, and I’m pretty sure most petrol stations get fuel deliveries every couple of days at the most.

It is worth pointing out that the Times article says ASIO want 660,000L of fuel, which is closer to 700,000L than 600,000L. So 660,000L would be 5 – 16.5 times what is stored at a service station, if you believe the interwebs.

660,000L is almost spot on $1 million worth of diesel at a price of $1.5L, which i find interesting.

c_c c_c 1:52 am 09 Apr 12

arescarti42 said :

660,000L is almost spot on $1 million worth of diesel at a price of $1.5L, which i find interesting.

lol, I doubt someone buying 660,000L of fuel is going to pay the retail price on it.

At the same time, I wouldn’t find a figure like that all that surprising for a Department’s fuel bill. How much do people think the APS spends on fuel for their fleet vehicles in a year?

I wouldn’t mind seeing ASIO use bio-diesel, wonder if the Greens can pull a finger out and encourage that?

screaming banshee screaming banshee 6:34 am 09 Apr 12

arescarti42 said :

660,000L is almost spot on $1 million worth of diesel at a price of $1.5L, which i find interesting.

You may also find it interesting then that off-road users of diesel fuel, ie cranes, excavators and generators receive a rebate for the circa 40c excise that road users pay for their diesel.

Also with truck fuel capacities up around 1000L, your 130,000 litre truck stop could only fuel 130 trucks.

JC JC 9:36 am 09 Apr 12

Years ago I used to work at one of the larger servo’s in town. If I recall we had two 4 separate tanks, the ones for super and unleaded were about 120,000l each and the premium and diesel tanks were about 60,000l each. So about 360,000 in total, or about half what ASIO is planning.

I personally don’t see what the issue is anyway. It’s not like diesel is going to go ka-boom like petrol vapours do. Diesel is a lot harder to ignite and when it does it will just burn rather than explode and of course it is much easier to put out as a result. Additionally considering it is going to be used for generators the storage and use of it is going to be much more controlled than fuel that is held and dispensed into vehicles at a servo. So really seems like a non issue being beat up by ill-informed ‘local residents’ and those that are anti anything new.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 11:57 am 09 Apr 12

Mr Waffle said :

Well, when it goes up in flames, at least it’ll become another national tourist attraction we can be proud of?

This is 1500ltrs burning-

http://youtu.be/qzi8Ull24KQ

Gonna need a big hose!

Just fit a foam attachment to the Captain Cook Memorial Jet, and you’ll have an instant high capacity firefighting tool close at hand!

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