News Column

Local Improvement Projects for Jet Fuel Pipelines Culminates in Opening Of New Fuel Metering Station on Edwards

February 6, 2014



EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Feb. 6 -- The U.S. Air Force Edwards Air Force Base issued the following story:

While T-38s took to the Edwards skies, down on the ground a group of contractors, base civil engineers and members of the Defense Logistics Agency officially opened up the new Kinder Morgan Metering Station Facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony Jan. 22.

The 412th Civil Engineering Directorate collaborated with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners who designed and built the new station. According to their company website, KMEP owns or operates more than 82,000 miles of pipelines in the United States and 180 terminals.

The new system eliminates Edwards AFB's dependency on three jet fuel break-out storage tanks located at the old George Air Force Base in Victorville, Calif. Beforehand, jet fuel was piped from the San Pedro Port to the George AFB tanks. There, three military fuel additives were injected into the jet fuel and then the fuel was transferred through a filtration system to Edwards AFB via a 57-mile, 6-inch fuel pipeline.

"The new station allows Edwards to receive jet fuel directly from Kinder Morgan high pressure pipelines with the injection of the three military additives and filtration taking place on base now instead of in Victorville," said Cliff Cunningham, 412th Mission Support Group fuels testing and technical advisor.

"Being connected directly to the Kinder Morgan commercial Jet A pipeline and eliminating the intermediate break-out tanks at Victorville means that the commercial Jet A fuel Edwards transitioned to this month is available on demand. Additionally, having the injection and filtration facility within the base perimeter offers increased security for our pipeline delivery system."

This more efficient way of piping in jet fuel to Edwards came out of necessity. Kinder Morgan's lease with the City of Victorville expired Feb. 27, 2011.

"KMEP was asked to remove the [George AFB] breakout tanks for potential construction of a commercial warehouse," said Satwaji Kumar, 412th CE project manager. "Without breakout tanks, Edwards AFB could not receive JP8/Jet A via the pipeline. Due to the City of Victorville not renewing the lease on KMEP's George Terminal (formerly George AFB Terminal), that terminal will have to be closed."

To maintain service to Edwards AFB, KMEP installed necessary equipment and modified piping to allow for a stripping operation from the main pipeline in Adelanto, Calif., 56 miles away. In order to serve Edwards AFB directly from the main system's 8-inch and 14-inch mainlines, modifications were made at the Adelanto Junction to allow Jet A to deliver off the 8-inch mainline at full-line stream, or be stripped from either mainline, and continue on to the Edwards 6-inch line without the need for interim storage at George AFB.

"The City of Victorville has approved extensions to the lease which allowed us time to execute this project and eliminate the need for the three break-out tanks along with the injection & filtration facility," Cunningham said.

Kumar added that a preconstruction meeting was held last June and the project was completed in a "record breaking time" of seven months.

"All goals and milestones were met. 412th CE initiated the project, pitched and received funding from the Defense Logistics Agency for a communication project. CE coordinated with different agencies for an Environmental Base Study and Easement Lease documents. We created and processed the dig permit, reviewed design, environmental checklists and monitored/coordinated the project on a daily basis," he said.

KMEP will pump in Defense Logistics Agency bought Jet A, which Edwards recently converted to. Switching from JP-8 to commercial Jet A will save Edwards AFB $2.4 million over the next five years.

Click on the following link for more information on the Air Force's JP-8 to Jet A fuel conversion: http://www.edwards.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123357823

by Kenji Thuloweit

412th Test Wing Public Affairs

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