Regulatory changes, the growth of technology and tighter restrictions on emissions are some of the key impacts affecting the tank storage sector.
A survey of the 2018 Tank Storage Awards judging panel reveals that currently, the biggest challenge facing operators is keeping track of changes to regulations as well as ensuring staff are on top of safety requirements and that they are compliant.
The panel of ten judges from across the storage sector, including representations from BP, Shell, Vopak, Oiltanking, Inter Terminals, LBC and VTTI highlights that human error is one of the biggest threats to storage terminals, followed by equipment failure and fire.
Looking to future developments, the judges feels that robots will be one of the next big developments in the sector. 'They can significantly bring down costs for maintenance and inspection activities and shorten out of service times,' they comment.
Additionally, the internet of things is another area where the judges see significant potential in the future as well as further automation of processes and an increasing importance in the role of technology.
Interestingly, the judges strongly agree that storage terminals do not rely too much on technology in their current operating models.
Comments from the judges say: 'These technologies need to be appropriate to the environment and a thorough understanding of the consequences of failure and any need of redundancy and protection from failure or interference, either malicious or unintentional is key to their success.'
The second Global Tank Storage Awards will be held after the first day of StocExpo Europe on March 20, 2018, at the Cruise Terminal in Rotterdam.
For more information, and to read the judges' survey in full, visit www.tankstoragemag.com/awards.
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