Caltex Australia has built the world’s first fully transportable solar-powered retail outlet at Tom Price and Onslow, which are located more than 1,300 kilometres from Perth, Australia. These areas are not connected to the main electricity grid.
The Australian company is pioneering this environmentally friendly initiative to further extend the reach of its National Truck Network – the largest truck refuelling network in Australia, comprising 200 dedicated truck stops and 300 truck-friendly sites across the country.
Caltex Network Development Manager for Western Australia Leon Calvetti said diesel customers driving between remote locations across the state are benefitting from the availability of the fuel whenever they needed it.
“The biggest challenge of supplying fuel in remote parts of Australia isn’t getting fuel there – after all, we have fuel storage at the site and a great logistics team able to make regular deliveries,” Calvetti said. “The obstacle is powering the pumps so the fuel can get into the customer’s tank – it’s very expensive and inefficient to run a generator when there are only a handful of customers every day.”
“By creating what we believe are the world’s first fully solar-powered fuel facilities, we can efficiently provide diesel in some of the most remote locations of Australia,” he said.
“The other benefit of these sites will come when, at some stage in the future, there is no longer the same demand in that area – if that happens we can simply relocate the entire facility to a new part of the country, as everything on the site is easily transportable by truck.
“The whole design is tailored to Australian conditions, given the abundant sun and the long distances between service stations,” he added.
Calvetti said that, unlike many fuel outlets in rural Australia, the innovative Caltex sites could offer diesel 24 hours a day via a card payment system.
“These sites offer the same high-quality diesel available elsewhere across our national network and customers can access it at any time,” Calvetti said.
“While these no-frills facilities won’t provide a pie, a can of soft drink or ice creams, they will help keep drivers of heavy transport and four-wheel-drive vehicles supplied with the diesel they need to get to the next town for a well-earned rest.”
Caltex supplies one-third of Australia’s transport fuels. Caltex is also one of Australia’s largest convenience retailers and franchisors, with more than 85% of its stores operated by franchisees.