Fighting the arctic elements

With its high mountains and deep fjords, Norway can offer many challenges. Getting fuel out to all corners of this elongated country requires skills and persistence — and a logistics team with the right can-do attitude and experience.

“Especially at our most northern depot in Kirkenes we experience the full arctic climate. The temperature between the summer and winter season can vary from minus 30 to plus 30 degrees Celsius,” explains Ole-Petter Bjørdal, Director of Logistics in St1 Norway.

Most of our products distributed in Norway come in to our fourteen depots (eight main depots and six marine depots) via ship and are then trucked out to its destination. The counties of Troms and Finnmark are known for its long distances and harsh winter weather. Between our main depot in Tromsø and Kirkenes there is a 900-kilometer drive with mountain passes often winter closed. So, to keep society and critical institutions in Kirkenes, such as the military and emergency vehicles running, the depot up north is of key essence.

Arctic in our DNA

“The arctic climate lies in our DNA and enables us to keep operations running despite winter storms and snow. Of course, we also need to take some extra measures to fight the elements,” says Bjørdal. At all depots in Norway, we have in place a winterization program to prepare teams and installations for safe operation through the winter.

Bjørdal also explains that the Kirkenes depot is the only one with built-in fueling area (garage) to protect the trucks against wind and snow. One key element is also to ensure the optimal winter quality of the fuel.

“With temperatures down to minus 30 degrees Celsius, this is vital. We have also insulated the diesel tank to prevent heat loss as another measure to tackle the cold climate,” Bjørdal explains.

To keep society and critical institutions in Kirkenes running, the depot up north is of key essence.

It’s a joint effort

In 2021 driving conditions were, at times, challenging all over Norway. Nevertheless, our trucks managed to drive four million kilometers across the country during the year. This is equivalent to 800 round trips from Oslo to Rome.

“We have managed to keep all our terminals open despite challenges due to COVID-19 thanks to a great joint effort between us and all our partners and customers. Our teams focus on safety and quality every day, and this is our receipt for keeping operations going and tackling all conditions thrown at us,” Bjørdal concludes.

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