A bulk plant normally consists of a number of aboveground tanks, either vertical or horizontal. Some bulk plants are located alongside railroad sidings. They sometimes receive product from railroad tank cars, shunted onto the sidings. More often, however, bulk plants are located at the edge of small towns or in the industrial areas of cities. Liquid fuels, such as gasoline, are delivered to the bulk plants by large tanker trucks, and pumped into the storage tanks. Later, these products are loaded into smaller tank trucks for delivery to service stations and commercial fueling facilities.
At some bulk plants, the tanks are located underground.
In addition to tanks, bulk plants often include a warehouse building where motor oils and other petroleum products are stored, as well as a loading rack where fuel is transferred to and from vehicles.
See also Terminal.