APPLICATION REPORT NR. 10 / JULY 2015
Tanker pier in full view

The Company

Nord-West Oelleitung GmbH (NWO) was founded in 1956 in order to build and operate Europe's fi rst long-range crude oil pipeline, thus ensuring the supply of several mineral oil refi neries in the Emsland region in the north of Germany, and the Rhine-Ruhr region in the west. The Norddeutsche Oelleitung (North-German oil pipeline, NDO) was built in 1982 and today supplies crude oil to the Holborn refinery in Hamburg.

NWO operates:
  • A tanker pier and a tank farm in Wilhelmshaven
  • A tank farm in Ochtrup
  • The 28" pipeline system from Wilhelmshaven to Cologne (NWO), including pumping stations
  • The 22"/34" pipeline system from Wilhelmshaven to Hamburg (NDO)

The NWO tank farm in Wilhelmshaven also connects the cavern facilities in Rüstrigen and Etzel to the system, while the cavern facilities in Epe are connected via the Ochtrup tank farm. The cavern facilities are not operated by NWO. The entire handling, storage and transport of the crude oil is operated and monitored at the remote control centre in Wilhelmshaven.


Photograph by NWO-Foto, Photographic Design: Klaus Schreiber


Photograph by NWO-Foto, Photographic Design: Klaus Schreiber

The State of the Video Control System

At Wilhelmshaven, NWO operates a video control system that was set up in 1998. Various cameras permanently monitor the three jetties at the tanker pier. Further cameras monitoring the access area and the onshore facilities are situated close to the administration building. All video signals accumulate on a video matrix and are then permanently recorded.

The Challenge

The motivation for replacing the cameras came from the increasing interference liability of the analog video signals and the increased need for repair and maintenance. The upgrade and replacement was supposed to result in a cost-effective CCTV surveillance system featuring outstanding flexibility, a high level of functionality, and low maintenance costs. Furthermore, an additional camera was mounted underneath the tanker pier.

The Catalogue of Requirements for the CCTV System included:
  • Digital transfer (IP network)
  • Fibre optic network infrastructure
  • Explosion-protected dome cameras for the tanker pier area
  • Cameras designed to withstand strong winds, harsh weather conditions and salt water on the tank pier (V4A, IP68)
  • Replacement of cameras in hazardous and safe areas
  • Video-management software (VMS) in the control centre
  • Permanent digital recording in virtual environment according to customer specification
  • Single- and split-screen display on different monitors in the control centre incl. camera control via joystick
  • Automatic overwriting of records according to customer specification
  • Display of authorities/access to video records
  • Client integration via web browser for decentralised access
  • System solution including project engineering, delivery, commissioning as well as maintenance and service

The Solution

In the hazardous area, the system solution comprises stainless-steel dome cameras for monitoring the unloading process at the tanker pier, and in the safe area cameras for monitoring the access points and the site. The video signals are initially transmitted via coax cables and then via fibre optic to the control centre, where the images are saved on a server. For a better overview and easier operation the images are distributed to various monitors for split-screen display. A joystick is available for the exact control of the zoom, pan and tilt processes.

Because the old video management system in the control centre had become inflexible and technically outdated, the customer opted for R. Stahl's proposal, the open Cayuga VMS system by SeeTec, in order to take advantage of the benefits of modern IP technology. This platform is non-proprietary and offers customized as well as scaleable solutions. The aim was to install a cross-location management system enabling access to the decentralised sites, the pump stations in Ostenwalde and Ochtrup and the subsidiary in Mülheim, too.

This system now offers full functionality with regard to the upgradeability of the camera channels, client operating stations, split-screen display as well as image analysis and fast evaluation of recorded images. In addition, operating the system is easy and intuitive.

The Decision Criteria:
Professional system in combination with great savings for the commissioning, installation and maintenance cost.

The old camera system used pan/tilt heads at the jetties which were much heavier and entailed enormous maintenance effort, sometimes even requiring scaffolding for the dismantling and re-assembly. The introduction of R. Stahl's explosion-protected dome cameras meant a substantial reduction of installation and maintenance work, since their weight of 8 kg per unit is far below that of the old pan/tilt heads. Hatches were added to the jetties to enable easier access. This was not possible with the old pan/tilt cameras and also means a substantial reduction in cost.

By opting for analog dome cameras, the customer was able to continue using the existing cabling infrastructure, thus rendering the extra cost for rewiring unnecessary.

The HD dome cameras favoured by the competitors were much more expensive and did not offer any specific advantages to the application. The integrated, 18x optical auto-focus zoom lens in R. Stahl's analog dome cameras can zoom on any required details, making them clearly visible and retrievable from the recordings at any time.
The higher resolution of the HD dome cameras is not needed here, since retrospective image analysis by zooming into recorded images is not required.

Quote from Harald Borchers of NWO

"The main reason we decided to go with R. Stahl and not the competitors for this project was R. Stahl's many years of experience and their expertise in the area of explosion protection. Since the majority of the cameras are located in the hazardous area, we wanted to be on the safe side and leave this issue in the hands of the professionals.

The combination of all these issues together with excellent value for money and the reliable and fast support from the planning stage to the final commissioning is the reason why we decided on R. Stahl Camera Systems – a decision which proved the right one in more than one way.”

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