Managing the risk of overpressures in diesel pumping systems

The Challenge

With two almost-identical diesel fuel loading systems planned for Rio Tinto’s West Angelas and Brockman mine sites, our client (Primero Group) needed confirmation that the diesel pumping systems they were designing would operate safely and effectively.

Both system designs were based on existing designs from a third party, so Primero Group and Rio Tinto needed to validate the specifications and performance. As the systems would be pumping fuel from a tank to a road tanker, there were very real safety concerns, including potential sparking issues.

" OneStone supported us with timely advice throughout the detailed design stage, covering hydraulic design aspects ranging from pump selection and pipe sizing to fluid hammer and emergency shutdown procedures. The constructed design worked the first time without adjustment or modification exceeding the end user expectations. "

Ben Davies, Project Design Manager, Primero Group

The Solution

Our client gave us a preliminary design they had used to assess the pressure losses in the system.  We took that basic design and built a detailed model including everything from pipes and pumps to valves and diesel filters.  This allowed a more detailed assessment of both systems and provided the foundation for further analysis.

With a much more comprehensive and accurate view of the systems, we conducted fluid hammer analysis and assessed the suitability of the system in different scenarios, including direct online (DOL) pump start and emergency shutdown situations.

The Result

We were able to confirm the design would perform within the systems’ pressure ratings, and that the right pumps had been selected, providing our client with peace of mind that operational risk had been minimised. What’s more, because we were able to check the suitability of both systems with two nearly identical models, we saved our client time and money.

Key Personnel

Eelko van der Vaart




Transient Analysis Real Time Control Strategies