A look at the Bordeaux terminal

Business News

Overhead shot of Bordeaux terminal, Nashville

In 1952, Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) purchased the Bordeaux terminal from Republic Oil. Today the terminal consists of 16 tanks on 11 acres of riverfront property in downtown Nashville, where it receives, custom blends, and distributes a variety of fuels by over-the-road transport, pipeline, and inland-waterway barges. The terminal also plays an important role in providing energy resilience for the state; multiple transportation options, including pipeline and barge, helps to insulate the Middle Tennessee area from petroleum supply interruptions.

Clients submit an order and send a tanker truck to the terminal, where the orders are mixed to specification and pumped into the trucks. The Bordeaux terminal has perfected this blending and filling process by implementing environmental and safety initiatives into their standard operating procedures. A Vapor Recovery Unit (VRU) is one example of the technology in use to reduce pollution and potential hazardous releases. VRU systems are composed of carbon vessels, vacuum pumps, and an absorber tower, with the main purpose of recovering vapors captured during the loading process. When trucks deliver a load to a gas station, two lines are attached from the truck to the underground storage tanks; one fills the tank with gasoline and one empties it of its volatile vapors. When trucks return to the terminal, the VRU receives the vapors from the trucks during the loading process.

Previously, the VRU system would run continuously; however, the terminal now uses a smart-start system to ensure the machinery runs only when needed, reducing over 140 megawatt hours of energy use in the first two months. The terminal also works with oil recycling facilities to recycle soiled rags, absorbents, and petroleum contact water.

The Bordeaux terminal is also a member of the Tennessee Green Star Partnership, a voluntary environmental leadership program designed to recognize industries in the state that are committed to sustainable practices. Through its membership, the terminal learned of the Tennessee Materials Marketplace, a collaboration between industries to recycle, repurpose, and return material discards back to Tennessee’s economy. The terminal currently has sandblast media generated from tank cleaning listed on the Marketplace.

Tennessee Green Star

Terminal employees also spend time volunteering in the community. Activities include preparing and sorting food for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville, planting pollinator friendly plants and setting up two bee hives as part of Wildlife Habitat cleanup day, and participating in the Hurricane Florence Response Team, where 17 employees sorted, loaded and packed trucks with materials and supplies sent to support hurricane victims.

Bordeaux area volunteers