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Anti-theft FuelWatch

PSM, a UK-based manufacturer of marine control instrumentation, has developed a system which detects unauthorised removal of bunker fuel and lubricant oil from storage cargo and service tanks on offshore and river fuel distribution vessels.

FuelWatch uses a level transmitter in each tank to continuously monitor the contents in order to deter theft by crew members.

The level reading is recorded by a central monitor unit, installed in a locked and armoured housing that cannot be accessed by the crew. At defined times, the central monitor unit transmits the tank level readings as a small encrypted report to a designated management office of the company. Transmission can be via GRPS (cellular radio), e-mail or satellite.

PSM says that any attempt to tamper with the system or power supply is recorded for security purposes with the option to send an immediate alert report. A secondary power supply or battery backup system can also be installed.

The office personnel in charge can use an application running on a web-connected PC to compare the vessel reports with the legitimate voyage and delivery schedules. They can thus detect any unauthorised offloading, highlighting a potential theft. It is also possible to flag these occurrences as exception alerts and raise an immediate alarm for investigation.

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