Top 50 Indie George Hammond has decided to install the Petroman Vapour Management Control system in all its new developments after trials at three sites demonstrated how much money it was saving.

The company estimates its stock losses due to vapour loss have reduced by 0.15% since installing the Petroman VMC system, saving the company thousands of pounds a year.

The three elements of the Petroman VMC system combine to retain as much petrol vapour as possible on the forecourt and turn it back into saleable product, instead of returning it via the vapour recovery hose to the delivery tanker.

The three-stage process works by reducing the amount of vapour created when petrol deliveries are made, through the use of the Petroman Softfill perforated beam, mixing the existing vapour back into the fill stream through the Petroman’s Accumulus valve, and balancing vapour pressure across all petrol tanks to reduce the amount of vapour that is sucked back into delivery tankers.

The George Hammond group’s retail arm incorporates seven forecourts under the BP brand with combined annual fuel sales of 48m litres. It has recently completed three full redevelopments at Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey, Thanet Way near Margate and Dover South, Dover, and will shortly be undertaking similar developments at Deal and Three Elm near Tonbridge.

The three redeveloped forecourts have all been equipped with automatic temperature control (ATC) dispensers, vapour recovery II and Petroman’s VMC vapour retention system. All gauges were calibrated before the installation.

John Ryeland, managing director of George Hammond Retail, said: “It is absolutely clear that the VMC system has made substantial savings for the business by retaining fuel – product that is rightfully ours in the first place –within the tank farm and reducing wet stock losses.

“Having the benefit of a spread of sites, with and without VMC and ATC pumps, we have been able to isolate the results of the system.

“We are now planning to install VMCs in all new installations, because I know it works. We have seen significant increases in tangible stock retention across the three sites where we have already installed the equipment. I have proved to my satisfaction that it saves me money.”

There are now 400 Petroman systems installed throughout the UK and Ireland, which the company estimates is helping garage owners retain in excess of 1 million litres a year.

Petroman managing director Rodney Carter said: “If every garage selling more than 2 million litres of spirit a year fitted our system, we estimate we could retain 3,000 litres of petrol in forecourt tanks, rather than it going back to the oil companies. This is product that retailers have already paid for and paid tax on. We calculate that this represents a saving of £26.30 per tanker load.

“As well as saving retailers money, if we were able to retain the full amount of product, this would represent an annual reduction of 6,257 tanker movements. All this is achieved with no electricity costs and no requirement for space on the forecourt; all the equipment is powered by flow from the delivery and pressure and the valves are mounted with the existing vent pipes.”