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New fuel tanks at Kirkenes Airport

Release date:
February 2024
The end of November 2023 saw Air bp take two new fuel tanks in use at Kirkenes Airport (KKN/ ENKR) in Norway. We were delighted to work with Wennstrom on the installation of the tanks and spoke with their project manager, Julie Tidslevold, to find out more.

The decision to replace the old fuel tank at Kirkenes Airport was taken to increase the storage capacity following the decommissioning of one semi-buried tank in 2021. The airport is located in Høybuktmoen, 15km west of the town of Kirkenes in the far northeast of Norway. Wennstrom was involved throughout the whole process of installing the new tanks and has trained the on-site team to carry out maintenance checks on the tanks going forward. After the decommissioning of the semi-buried tank, there was 50m3 storage at the airport. The decision was made to house two tanks, each capable of holding 80m3 (a combined total of 160m3) of fuel to future-proof the storage capacity and be ready for growing demand.


One of the big challenges with this project was ensuring smooth ongoing operations, which required the installation of one new tank before the removal of the old one and subsequent installation of the second new tank. 


Julie explained that: “Work on laying the foundations for the new tanks began in August 2023 and was a process that lasted three weeks. Once the foundations were laid, we were able to install the pipes and then in early September the first tank was installed.”


A soak test was carried out to certify the new tank as suitable for holding jet fuel. Once that was complete and training for the operators had been carried out, the old tank was decommissioned and removed, before installation of the second new fuel tank could begin. 


“All in all, the whole process took around three months. Both tanks are now fully operational and I have to say, as fuel tanks go, they really do look great,” said Julie. 


“This was our first collaboration with Air bp and hopefully the first of many. The majority of Wennstrom’s installations have previously been in petrol stations and marinas, where we have also installed electrical charging units.” 


Wennstrom is also working with Air bp to maintain and service equipment at 18 locations in northern Norway. Julie added: “Working with the team at Air bp was certainly a highlight of the project at Kirkenes. Their expertise, competence and regard for safety was exemplary and they were really strict about adhering to industry regulations. There were no corners cut and it was a really rewarding project to work on. “ 


“Strong communication with the local site team is key on a project like this, as we rely on each other heavily. Sometimes we would seek expertise from them and vice versa. In an industry that is so focused on safety and security, having that transparent dialogue and understanding of the risks involved is key.”


As her first foray into the aviation fuel sector, Julie thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. “Kirkenes primarily serves commercial scheduled traffic, so being involved in making sure operations can run smoothly (both during the installation and going forward) and being approved to go airside was exciting and different to any projects I’ve worked on previously. I look forward to our continued collaboration with Air bp.” We’re delighted with the new tanks and how they’ve made our fuelling operations at Kirkenes even safer and more efficient. We also agree with Julie, and as you can see from the photo, that as fuel tanks go, they really do look rather impressive in situ.


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