A Bulk Plant Built for Speed

By Stephen Bennett

A new bulk plant replaced an old bulk plant at Shattuck Oil in Pepperell, Mass., and project more than met expectations.

The original plant, on the same site, was built in the 1920s, and “served us very well,” said Lou Berube, president of John G. MacLellan Oil in Tewksbury, Mass. Shattuck Oil is a unit of MacLellan Oil. Lou Berube co-owns MacLellan Oil with his brother Garrett Berube, who serves as its vice president.

However, there were problems. The original bulk plant needed about 40 minutes to unload a transport truck, Berube said. In contrast, the new plant can unload a transport truck in “about eight minutes,” Berube said. “It unloads the transports very, very quickly–and it fills the trucks very quickly too.” The facility loads Shattuck Oil’s seven retail trucks at a rate of about 500 gallons a minute.

Besides fuel oil, the new terminal handles off-road and on-road diesel and kerosene.

Asked about the total investment in the new facility, Berube demurred with a chuckle and offered as an example one feature that adds to the cost of such a project: “You’ve got to put in more expensive pumps that are bigger.”

While the new facility provides solid operation benefits, it was prompted by the needs to comply with environmental regulations.

SPCC required us to hire engineering freelancer to bring the old plant up to speed, Berube said, referring to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule that is part of EPA’s oil spill prevention program. “After a lot of engineering and expense, and trying to get the plant into compliance with the latest regulations, we decided that the best alternative for us was to tear down the old plant and construct a whole new facility,” he said.

The tear-down of the old plant began in May 2015, and construction of the new plant was completed Thanksgiving week of 2015, Berube said.


Web Engineering Associates, formerly of Norwell, Mass., now based in Scituate, Mass., managed the applications for permits, designed the terminal and engineered it. Bob Coluccio, senior engineer with Web Engineering, handled that work, while Berube served as his own general contractor, subcontracting the site work, and purchasing the equipment through Hall-Trask Equipment in Braintree, Mass.

“I had a pretty steady correspondence with Mike Trask through the whole process,” Berube said. “They were fantastic in terms of making sure that the stuff got here on schedule,” Berube said.

Mike Trask is secretary of Hall-Trask Equipment. Trask said the equipment installed in the terminal includes: Gorman-Rupp Roto-Prime self-priming centrifugal pumps manufactured by Gorman-Rupp Co., Mansfield, Ohio; a Petrovend Integra 500 system manufactured by OPW Fuel Management Systems, Hodgkins, Ill.; and a Top Tech MultiLoad II, manufactured by Toptech Systems, Longwood, Fla.

The Top Tech system, according to the manufacturer, is designed to handle multiple additives, blending, flow rates, temperature compensation, and a number of additional functions. It has wireless communication options, color display, and alphanumeric keypad options as well.

Also contracted were H.M. Riggle Welding & Piping, Wareham, Mass., and Highland Tank & Manufacturing Co., Stoystown, Pa., which delivered three 20,000-gallon vertical tanks. Pittsburgh Tank & Tower Co., based in Henderson, Ky., erected an 80,000-gallon vertical tank on the site. “They came up here and had it all done, from start to finish, in a week and a half,” Berube said.

He noted that on the receiving side, “We didn’t use meters.” Instead, the Integra 500 tracks loads that come into the plant, monitoring inventory.

On the racks, electronic meters enabled the terminal to forego the mechanical registers. Instead, “the activity that happens here at the terminal prints out in the office so the drivers don’t have to mess around with tickets,” he said.

For water runoff, there is a 10,000-gallon oil/water separator and an “infiltration” system that gradually returns the water to the ground. The site, which Berube estimated is two to three acres, borders the Nissitissit River, a 10.5-mile-long waterway that is a fishing hotspot. “We have no outflow pipes to the river,” Berube said. “It’s a beautiful river stocked with trout. We put in some extra features in our storm-water design because we’re on the river. The fishermen come on our property in the spring and they fish for rainbow and brook trout.

“We’re very happy with the finished product and it will serve us for many, many years to come,” Berube said. Asked how many years that might be, he said, “Until my kids’, kids’, kids,–I’m sure.”

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