Even During Hurricane Sandy, ESI Total Fuel Management Delivers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 CONTACT: Melinda Maas, ESI TOTAL FUEL MANAGEMENT

December 12, 2012                                                                1-703-263-7600

Even During Hurricane Sandy, ESI Total Fuel Management Delivers

Chantilly, Va., firm closes gap in U.S. fuel distribution supply chain

Chantilly, VA – ESI Total Fuel Management, the leader in Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management™, successfully helped data centers and other critical power facilities along the U.S. east coast prevent catastrophic data and power loss during Hurricane Sandy by initiating pre-storm fuel deliveries, and then completing customer deliveries after the storm when other providers could not. When the diesel fuel delivery infrastructure failed – as it usually does during disasters of this type – ESI sourced fuel from as far away as Norfolk, Va., to help beleaguered facility managers.

Fuel management“Once again our team worked 24-7 to deliver urgently needed diesel fuel to both new and existing customers when others could not,” says Alex Marcus, ESI’s President. “We first worked with our existing customers prior to the catastrophe, initiating fuel deliveries to ensure their business continuity throughout the storm. Then we successfully delivered diesel fuel to new customers who were unable to secure delivery from their regular providers.”

Diesel fuel risk management and continuity are the essence of ESI Total Fuel Management’s business. The firm eliminates diesel fuel-related risks in the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle™, a much-needed service for critical power operations that rely on diesel generators for backup power.

According to a November 16, 2012, post-storm article in Data Center Knowledge, facilities still struggle to control those risks: “The gaps and risks uncovered over the past two weeks demonstrate numerous vulnerabilities and design failures for IT mechanical and electrical systems, business continuity plans and operational procedures,” the article states.

As this “Frankenstorm” strengthened, ESI continued to monitor its progress and began planning for the worst-case customer scenarios. Once it became clear that the storm would threaten critical power continuity for facilities in the DC-Metro and Northeast regions, ESI alerted its current customers and helped them assess their readiness for reliable diesel generator starts. This pre-disaster business continuity assessment is a best practice service that ESI provides to its customers as part of an integrated service delivery platform which is designed to eliminate diesel generator failure due to any fuel-related cause.

“To our surprise,” recounts Marcus, “an alarming number of facilities were unaware of the potential seriousness of this event and had not taken adequate measures to ensure their fuel stores were in place to survive the storm. Some of our regular customers were fortunate to receive the alert from us and had no issues during the storm.”

Other facilities were not so lucky. As is common with disasters of this type, the diesel fuel delivery infrastructure, which is based on a local retail configuration and priority commercial contracts, fell apart immediately after the storm hit the New York Harbor (NYH) area, a vital fuel refinery and distribution hub. David Sandalow, U.S. Under Secretary of Energy, described the local energy infrastructure as “paralyzed.” From as far away as New York, ESI’s emergency number was inundated with diesel fuel delivery requests because of power outages at distribution terminals at NYH.

According to a post-storm report by the U.S. Energy Information Agency, “The hurricane damaged much of the petroleum supply infrastructure in the NYH area, including both of the refineries in northern New Jersey and many of the terminals. The damage to the refineries and the terminals significantly disrupted the supply chain. Immediately following the storm, the lack of commercial or generator power kept many terminals from operating.”

“By perfecting a business model that leverages our 70-year-plus knowledge of the oil industry and how distribution really works, we were in a position to plan, then immediately begin tapping fuel sources in Philadelphia in order to reach Northeastern customers,” says Marcus. “By 8 p.m. the night of the storm, we were delivering diesel from hundreds of miles away when local providers could not. That’s pretty impressive, especially given the magnitude of this particular storm and its risks.”

To continue the job of reaching customers, ESI worked the night of the storm and extended its working hours in the days following, eventually putting together fuel delivery packages from sources as far away as Norfolk, Va., in order to keep the diesel flowing northward. Most ESI deliveries occurred in the New York-New Jersey metro area; Washington, D.C.; Northern Virginia, and Maryland.

ESI’s headquarters is in Northern Virginia, an area of particular concern due to the density of data centers in the region. It is here that ESI first expanded its business beyond manufacturing diesel fuel cleaning equipment to include services related to risk management and business continuity. Currently, ESI is the only provider to offer diesel fuel quality equipment and service – as well as fuel delivery – as a core business.

“We are a unique company with niche manufacturing and design expertise, and we fly mostly under the radar,” says Marcus, “until disaster strikes. Then data centers and facilities begin to understand their entire scope of risk with the diesel fuel supply chain.”

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About ESI Total Fuel Management

ESI Total Fuel Management’s mission is to eliminate diesel generator failure due to fuel-related causes. ESI is the proven industry expert in reliable diesel fuel filtration and lifecycle risk management, providing effective Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management to diesel generator critical power systems worldwide. ESI is the first and only company to address both internal and external risks throughout the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle while including diesel fuel access and delivery as a standard competency. In 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, ESI Total Fuel Management delivered over 1 million gallons of emergency diesel fuel to government, private and commercial customers when other providers could not. ESI also manufactures the ESI Clean Fuel System™, a patented standard in fuel polishing design (now in its 5th generation) which revolutionized the critical power and marine industries.

Engineered diesel fuel management system

ESI Total Fuel Management Recognized for Successful Global Business Model

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           CONTACT: Melinda Maas, ESI TOTAL FUEL MANAGEMENT

September 7, 2012                                                                                1-703-263-7600

Chantilly-based Firm Featured In Leading Industry News Journal

ESI Total Fuel Management Recognized for Successful Global Business Model

Chantilly, VA – ESI Total Fuel Management, the leader in Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management™, is featured in the August 8, 2012 issue of the weekly newspaper “Diesel Fuel News.”

“We are pleased that a significant, global industry publication has recognized our manufacturing and service innovation success, and has chosen to highlight our proud ties to Virginia,” says Alex Marcus, ESI’s President. “As a global firm with over 50% of our business in export markets, we feel that our recent accomplishments in a down economy are well worth noting.”

The article, written by long-time diesel fuel industry expert Jack Peckham, reports on ESI’s growing service and equipment prominence in the global critical power market sector, as well as the “Value Chain” business development model that drives ESI’s success. The story also mentions ESI’s important relationship with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in its State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) Program, which provides export assistance and support to qualifying Virginia businesses.

“The bottom line,” adds Marcus, “is that we base our business practices on traditional values such as trust, relationships and knowledge leadership. And our customers worldwide have rewarded us with their vote of confidence in ESI as the only guaranteed source of fuel system reliability in preventing generator failure.”

“Management at a growing number of data centers has begun to learn that diesel fuel supply and service shouldn’t be treated as just another commodity,” the article states. “The company’s novel package of fuel supply and services is proving to be a hit with customers…thanks in part to ESI management’s long experience in fuel supply.”

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About ESI Total Fuel Management

ESI Total Fuel Management’s mission is to eliminate diesel generator failure due to fuel-related causes. ESI is the proven industry expert in reliable diesel fuel filtration and lifecycle risk management, providing effective Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management to diesel generator critical power systems worldwide. ESI is the first and only company to address both internal and external risks throughout the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle while including diesel fuel access and delivery as a standard competency. In 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, ESI Total Fuel Management delivered over 1 million gallons of emergency diesel fuel to government, private and commercial customers when other providers could not). ESI also manufactures the ESI Clean Fuel System™, a patented standard in fuel polishing design (now in its 5th generation) which revolutionized the critical power and marine industries.

ESI Total Fuel Management Statement on Diesel Fuel Security During “Derecho” Weather Catastrophe

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           CONTACT: Melinda Maas, ESI TOTAL FUEL MANAGEMENT

July 12, 2012                                                                                          (703) 263-7600

ESI Total Fuel Management Statement on Diesel Fuel Security During “Derecho” Weather Catastrophe

Chantilly, VA – ESI Total Fuel Management, the leader in Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management™, responded successfully to maintain diesel fuel deliveries on demand to new and existing customers in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., from June 29 – July 6, 2012. During that time, the U.S. east coast experienced one of its most severe, non-hurricane weather events, exposing data centers and critical power systems to latent, business continuity risks in diesel fuel systems. As grid reliability collapsed in spectacular fashion for private, government and commercial consumers, data centers and telecommunications facilities were forced to transfer power to backup generators. Some failed to do so because of mechanical or electrical system integrity failures. However, even for those who succeeded in transferring power successfully, the risks were not over.

“As is the case with all sudden disasters of this type, ESI’s Secure Fuel Delivery™ service activities increased as we were called upon to fill one of the most critical gaps in business continuity value chain management,” says Alex Marcus, ESI’s President.  “Ninety percent of diesel generator failures are due to fuel-related causes, including the inability to locate, order, and secure delivery of reliable diesel fuel from reputable providers during unexpected catastrophes. I am pleased to announce that ESI performed all fuel deliveries as planned for those in need.”

Even though many data and communication facilities confirm mechanical and electrical system integrity with business continuity “checklists,” some centers were ultimately caught without adequate stores of diesel fuel because of the storm’s scale and severity. In the early stages of the disaster, facilities that failed to establish contact with overwhelmed fuel suppliers were successful when they were finally referred to ESI’s 24-hour emergency number. As demand continued to intensify over a relatively short period, it became apparent that facilities throughout Virginia and the D.C. Capitol region were unable to gain access to secure fuel deliveries on a large-scale basis, even from their regularly contracted fuel suppliers.

In an industry that is largely served by fuel delivery companies whose principle business is supplying heating oil to homes and diesel fuel to service stations, ESI’s Secure Fuel Delivery service is a unique model in the industry, purpose-designed for the rigors of critical power facility operations and business continuity planning.

There are inherent risks in the Diesel Fuel Supply Chain and infrastructure which are often inadvertently exacerbated by facility operators in their efforts to mitigate volatile risks such as the recent Derecho catastrophe. This occurs because of a critical gap in knowledge and expertise among facility operators.

“We were very busy in the first 48 hours of this disaster, ensuring that every critical power facility who called us had a secure link to reliable diesel fuel,” continues Marcus. “In fact, facilities prefer to contract with ESI because we assume the burden of risk from the facility operation and ensure a reliable source of diesel fuel during catastrophic events and extended generator runs. Additionally, ESI guarantees diesel fuel quality and type, while at the same time maintaining the DEQ required records. We consider this a best practice that all facilities should have in their business continuity plan. Business continuity checklists are no longer sufficient to deal with today’s threats.”

A Resilience Roundtable report, issued by the U.S. Resilience Project in October 2011, urges private sector business continuity professionals to “implement performance-based targets, not checklist standards” as a best practice for business continuity. The report explains that performance-based targets “describe a desired end state” for business resilience which, according to Marcus, is an appropriate model for managing what he calls the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle™.

“When it comes to reliable diesel power,” Marcus continues, “We at ESI Total Fuel Management go far beyond the mere checklist standards that many facility operators and business resilience managers find acceptable. Preventive measures such as periodically verifying day tank fuel levels and removing water from stored fuel – while basic needs – have proven time and again to be insufficient for serious emergency situations. Risks are present everywhere in the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle and can occur on-site or off-site. Having a provider of Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management, such as ESI, who knows those risks, and takes responsibility for them, is the key to business continuity when it really counts.”

In addition, the customers who lease space from data center operators should conduct due diligence on their host facilities to verify that an uninterruptable link to diesel fuel supplies is in place. To ensure that the fuel supply link is uninterruptable, lessees should demand best practices equal to, or exceeding, those delivered by ESI.

“If you are a customer leasing space in a data center, ask lots of questions about the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle and how the facility is mitigating those risks,” concludes Marcus. “If they don’t have a clear answer, call ESI Total Fuel Management for guidance.”

For more information on Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management or to secure an uninterruptable link to secure diesel fuel, facilities or their customers may call ESI Total Fuel Management’s 24-hour service at (703) 263-7600 (for a fuel emergency select “8”). To download ESI’s recent white paper on risk mitigation in the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle, please go to The Case For Investment In Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management.

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About ESI Total Fuel Management

ESI Total Fuel Management’s mission is to eliminate diesel generator failure due to fuel-related causes. ESI Total Fuel Management is the proven industry expert in reliable diesel fuel filtration and lifecycle risk management, providing effective Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management to diesel generator critical power systems worldwide. ESI is the first and only company to address both internal and external risks throughout the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle while including diesel fuel access and delivery as a standard competency. In addition to maintaining quality diesel fuel and providing secure fuel delivery through a nationwide network of suppliers, ESI also manufactures the ESI Clean Fuel System™, a patented standard in fuel polishing design which revolutionized the critical power and marine industries. In 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, ESI Total Fuel Management delivered over 1 million gallons of emergency diesel fuel to government, private and commercial customers when other providers could not.

The case for investment in Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management

Written by diesel fuel quality engineers at ESI Total Fuel Management – May 2012

The investment gap in critical power reliability

Critical power diesel generators provide asset security and protection for enterprises and society alike. In addition, they typically serve as brand extensions in data center value chains, promising optimal reliability and data integrity for customers during catastrophes. But these value chains are only as good as the management systems themselves, and investment pre-occupation with the management of mechanical generator reliability is legendary for good reason: according to one source, generators are linked to 45 – 65% of outages in data centers with an N+1 configuration. The same source indicates that investments in generator reliability have 10 times the impact of investments in other parts of the reliability chain.[1]

However, when considering total systemic risk to diesel generator integrity, there is a disproportionate, and risky, de-emphasis on one important subsystem: Diesel Fuel Quality Systems. This happens for several reasons. First, executive facility managers, operators and business continuity managers view diesel fuel as a commodity – a “checklist” item – and often do not incorporate the management of its quality into a standardized, engineering management systems approach. Second, the permutations of risk involved in the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle™ are complex; when problems do occur, it takes an expert to identify, address and continuously mitigate those risks with the right equipment and management resources. For instance, in larger, less frequent events – such as a “failure-to-start” due to an engine design conflict with the fuel system – even the generator dealer may not be able to assist in problem-solving that brings the engine back online quickly. In reality, that type of problem-solving capability is a niche service specialty, and, although it does exist, it is not readily evident to facility managers as a widely available solution set.

The Diesel Fuel Quality System is comprised of:

  1. diesel fuel itself and its distribution value chain
  2. quality management processes (including training), problem analysis and protocols that maintain performance quality standards throughout the Diesel Fuel Lifecycle
  3. defect-free equipment that stores, conveys and delivers clean fuel to the engine

 Diesel fuel is the lifeblood of the engine, but is not understood by facilities for what it really is – a complex system that carries its own reliability weighting and latent risk factors. In fact, diesel fuel has a lifecycle of its own – one that is independent of everything else “mechanical” and “electrical” within the data center.

Figure 1 illustrates the diesel fuel lifecycle and highlights just some of the risks which can occur at several points along an interconnected journey. One major area of weakness is the lack of investment that facility operators make in human resource and procurement best practices related to the sourcing and delivery of diesel fuel. This lack of attention can easily introduce contaminated fuel into the system, or, put the facility at risk of heavy fines from emissions regulators. Once the fuel enters storage at the facility, there is a clear lack of managerial focus in reliably executing fuel testing and analysis, and in applying those test results to a meaningful evaluation of overall risk for the facility.

Figure 1: The Diesel Fuel Lifecycle and potential risks (real-world examples in red)

Emphasis on Diesel Fuel Quality Systems will close the reliability gap

What many in management don’t realize is that diesel fuel is not just a commodity input required for operations. It is a fluid, moving asset with nearly endless permutations of risk in equipment design, handling protocols, regulatory issues, and sourcing. Diesel fuel’s chief, controllable attribute related to all of these risk configurations is diesel fuel “quality.” The Diesel Fuel Quality System, therefore, is a measurable, management systems construct that contains large-scale, systemic risk. Obviously, this should be a major focus of business continuity managers and facility executives – not just facility managers. For instance, a data center with 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel storage capacity cannot afford a mistake in ordering the wrong grade of fuel. The total cost of remediation would equal the original 40,000-gallon purchase, plus the purchase of new, correctly graded fuel, plus the purchase of outsourced sulfur remediation. The risk of a hefty fine is also a threat. This scenario has in fact cost some facilities upward of $1 million in un-planned expenses for the operator.

Too often, Diesel Fuel Quality Systems are not treated as a capital investment. Instead, they are managed with an ad hoc, “tribal knowledge” method by untrained staff when they should be part of a controlled engineering process. Fuel procurement is left to low-skilled personnel when it should be overseen by trained technicians imparted with the proper authority. Also, fuel-related reliability problems are approached with a shotgun method instead of the problem analysis approach used by Diesel Fuel Quality Systems engineers to identify and address root cause issues. Because the requirements for this skill set are generally not obvious to facility managers, they can spend months trying to fix a “failure-to-start” issue related to fuel, rather than days.

Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management™ is the enterprise investment in best management practices to eliminate single-point failures in critical power systems due to fuel-related causes. Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management combines niche diesel supply chain service and defect-free manufacturing expertise that very few firms can integrate. Technically, Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management does not exist formally as an industry in the United States; however; sub-optimal service and point-solution substitutes are rampant, adding to the confusion for facility managers when a major problem does occur. As cloud computing and migration to data-centric behaviors continue to drive our society, a top-down education approach regarding the requirements for successful Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management is a must in the critical power industry.

Total Fuel Quality Management™ means total reliability

Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management is not a maintenance routine, nor a mechanical contractor point solution; it is an integrated service delivery platform managed by personnel with engineering expertise, best practices training and historical competencies in fuel acquisition, fuel quality, proprietary fuel system manufacturing, and systematic problem analysis. When properly implemented on the enterprise level, Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management dramatically reduces the risk associated with diesel fuel failure. At that point, the Diesel Fuel Quality System is reliably integrated with the data center value chain.

Figure 2 illustrates how Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management supports the critical power value chain, chiefly through the investment of personnel who are trained and aware of the gaps in diesel fuel quality. Many critical power facilities do not create a system that provides training and awareness on the enterprise level, but instead leave it to facility managers to deal with on their own.

Figure 2: The Value Chain for Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management

supporting data center reliability.[2]

One source claims that up to 90% of diesel engine failures are actually fuel-related.[3] However, Diesel Fuel Quality Systems continue to be ignored by management and treated as a lower level mechanical task. During diesel fuel’s delivery to a critical power facility and after its entry into the storage and circulation system, the knowledge level of facility personnel in maintaining the reliability value-chain drops off significantly.

Investments in Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management must increase in order for critical power facilities to see a measurable decrease in incidents. In order for this to happen, the acquisition and management of diesel fuel must first be embraced by facility managers, continuity managers, and developers as a critical power investment on the same scale as the generator system itself.

Tank inspections are an integral part of Diesel Fuel Quality Systems Management.

[1] “7×24: Generators Are Key to Improving Reliability,” Data Center Journal, November 15, 2011: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/11/15/7×24-generators-are-key-to-improving-reliability/
[2] Model based on Michael Porter, 1985
[3] Caterpillar, Inc., Improving Component Durability: Fuel Systems, pg. 17. Third Edition