Tank Storage Magazine v01 i04


Volume: 1
Issue: 4
Date Published: December 1, 2005




Towards more stable prices.


Vopak expands in Europe • Macquarie to buy German tank storage business • Oiltanking commissions new terminal in the Netherlands • Simon Storage changes hands, wins biofuels deal • TransMontaigne continues due diligence on acquisition • Rubis to build in Rotterdam • Oiltanking adds new berth in Singapore • Pacific Energy in terminal services deal with ConocoPhillips • Chevron announces natural gas storage project in Colorado • Vopak opens Darwin terminal • Valero elects two new board members


Low cost primary containment system for ASTs • Krohne buys Polar Systems • New high temperature Interface Detector • SPX side entry mixers for India's oil industry • Delft Instruments buys Lubrizol operations • New ultrasonic crawler inspection system • Carbis becomes US supplier of Kanon marine loading arms • Praxair leak detection system achieves National Work Group listing


Europe's new maritime safety package • US gets tough on oil pollution


New Lastfire project well underway • Saval's CFI fire detection and extinguishing system • Safety incidents • BP fined more than $21 mill following Texas City explosion • Motiva agrees to pay $12 mill to settle civil law suit


API issues new pipeline welding standard • Europe agrees compromise on REACH • Minor amendments to HAZMAT rules • Terminals granted extension on ultra-low sulphur diesel deadline • UN Model Regulations now available online • New guidelines on ladder safety


The current oil market, with its imbalances in the supply and demand of oil products, offers a bright future for Vopak Oil EMEA, says its new Division President, Rob Nijst. "We see plenty of business opportunities, both for crudes and petroleum products," says Rob Nijst, who took up his new role as Division President of Vopak Oil EMEA in September. "The ongoing imbalances in supply and demand, which are across the barrel, have resulted in an enormous growth of worldwide transport of oil products across all segments, including fuel oil, jet fuel, diesel (Europe) and gasoline (USA). Moreover, the midterm forecasts indicate that the imbalances are going to continue." Another significant factor in the current market is the increasing importance of product segregation, says Rob. "This increases the demand for quality tankage with the emergence of a wider range of products and specifications such as lowsulphur, gas-to-liquid, biofuels and so on. These new product types require more strict quality handling because of the sensitivity of the products, a quality service we can offer to our customers." Rob is a firm believer in the adage that firm foundations are required for growth.


National oil companies in the Middle East guard their nations oil wealth closely, so there's limited room for independents in the energy sector. Helen Campbell seeks out the terminal operators who are looking for opportunities in this region. With countries in the Middle East topping global energy producers' ranks, the region's role in the oil industry is undeniable. However, national companies like Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Petroleum Corp and Qatar Petroleum guard their resource rich country's oil wealth - symbolic of national and economic security - so closely that there is limited room for independents and foreign 'outsiders' in the energy sector, particularly in the Gulf. Storage operations are no exception. On the Mediterranean, in countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Israel, whose indigenous production profiles are much lower, independent terminal operators are more common and there are new opportunities on the horizon, particularly in Syria and Israel. The Middle East terminal business is nevertheless dominated by national and local companies, with foreign joint ventures few and far between. Oiltanking, Vopak, Petroplus, BP Marine and Shell Chemicals are among the handful of foreign operators who have made some headway in the region's storage infrastructure, but not all have necessarily remained there. Alongside massive crude exports, many of the nations around the Gulf and Red Sea are increasing their production and exports of refined products and chemicals, meaning growth in the need for storage and export facilities.


Nobody wants to talk about the security mistakes they make, but data from the US Coast Guard points to the areas where terminal facilities may need to tighten up. The worst security lapses at terminal facilities seem to be the most basic. Take gaps in fences, for example. That's top of the list of security violations identified by LT Christy Rutherford, Chief of Waterfront Facilities and Security for the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, Houston-Galveston. "Some facilities' fences are not intact and are not low enough to the ground, basically providing enough clearance for people to climb under the fence or climb through a fence opening," says LT Rutherford, who consulted multiple US ports to draw up a dossier of frequent violations of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA). LT Rutherford presented her findings at the ILTA conference in Houston in June, and more recently talked to Tank Storage magazine about the common holes in terminal security. The United States MTSA of 2002 is similar in scope to the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), which was incorporated into European law last July. Both require terminals to adopt a Facility Security Plan, covering everything from organisation to training, and from drills to documentation. The main difference is that the MTSA has sanctions associated with it. The top MTSA violations identified by LT Rutherford are not a carbon copy for security lapses everywhere, but the mistakes made at US ports give some insight into the security issues that terminal operators should look into.


Brain Warshaw examines recent innovations in the construction of hoses, and provides advice on choosing the right hose to provide a link in the fluid transfer chain - whether for transferring fluid between manifolds and tanks, tank-to-tank connections, loading or unloading road or rail tankers, or for bunkering in marine terminals. Any hose has a natural capability to compensate for vibration, movement, and any misalignment of flanges, but the hose you choose for the job must be suitable for the working pressure and temperature of the fluid being transferred, and be resistant to any chemical properties of the product. Consideration must be given to cleaning requirements and the risk of cross-contamination between fluids; together with any mechanical constraints such as a requirement to be handled by crane, bridle or sling. Then they must meet any specific environmental considerations, and health and safety standards. Traditionally, hoses were heavy and awkward to manhandle; but the development of composite hoses has changed that conception, and during the past few years manufacturers' sales figures have shown a growing demand for them from within the terminal storage industry. Composite hoses, made from a mixture of different materials, are strong, extremely flexible and relatively lightweight, when compared to their rubber or metal counterparts; this latter feature being important when considering health and safety policies relating to manual handling. Recent innovations in construction have made it possible to use composite hoses where previously hoses couldn't be used, such as towers and gantries; locations where they are hung vertically, sometimes without additional support.


Rotary positive displacement pumps provide an effective solution for the bulk transfer for liquids in the tank storage industry, where a wide range of flow viscosity is encountered. Brain Warshaw reviews US and European manufacturers who offer a range of pumps. The rotary positive displacement pump is self-priming, efficient, relatively quiet, and can be operated using variable speed drives. It will handle lubricating, as well as nonlubricating products, providing they contain neither solid contaminants nor chemicals that could attack the internal components. Due to the type of construction, with close meshing, but not touching, helical spindles or vanes to drive the fluid, it is essential that the pumps should be protected with fine mesh strainers. This review looks at a small selection of the many manufacturers in Europe and the USA who can provide a range of positive displacement rotary pumps. German pump manufacturer Allweiler AG was founded in 1860 and is part of the US's Colfax Pump Group, which also includes Houttuin BV, IMO, Warren, and Zenith Pumps as associates. Amongst a varied range of pump types, Allweiler manufactures rotary positive displacement screw spindle pumps that are used in the oil and chemical industries as well as in power generation. Product Manager, JÙrgen Gebhard says the two and three-spindle screw pumps have special advantages in that they exhibit very good net positive suction head (NPSH) values, can run 'dry' for a short period of time, and move fuel, with low axial speeds. The liquid is moved continuously, with virtually no pulsation or turbulence. New materials Gebhard explains that the direction of development at Allweiler has been towards pumps that exhibit lower pulsation action and shearing forces. Referring to the increasing demand for biodiesel, he says,,"We are developing and testing new materials, especially sealing materials, that will be useful for this market." Allweiler's low pressure TRILUB series comprises a range of five, triple-spindle screw pumps capable of moving fluid at a rate of between 11 and 7,500 l/min. They are used to pump products ranging from distillate fuels to HFOs over a wide viscosity band of 2 to 1,500 mm2/s, and at a maximum operating pressure from 7 to 16 bars depending on the unit selected. The units are designed to function at a temperature of minus 20ÁC to plus 155ÁC, and will operate in any plane. The model SN operates at the higher pressure of 100 bars, pumping fluids with viscosities of up to 5,000 mm2/s, and a flow rate to a maximum of 5,300 l/min. It can operate to an elevated temperature of 250ÁC.


Exhibition space is selling out fast. We're pleased to announce that the second StocExpo Conference and Exhibition is almost sold out. Next year's event will see an 80% increase in floorspace for exhibitors to display their services and products to chemical and oil companies and other terminal operators. As news of StocExpo Europe gathers pace, more and more companies are beginning to see the benefits of coming to Europe's premier chemical, oil and gas storage event. Companies specialising in vapour recovery, terminal automation, loading arms, metering, valves, tank construction, tank inspection, gauging, flow systems, hoses, leak detection, pumps and much, much more have already signed up for StocExpo Europe 2006. Only a few stands remain! The show will be a sell out - so if you are considering exhibiting we recommend you reserve your booth as soon as possible to secure the last remaining positions. Click here to view the Exhibitors List Click here to view the conference programme


From Strapping Tables to Calibration Tables. Increased accuracy results in reduced product loss, says Hans van den Heijkant of Kalibra International, who talked to Tank Storage magazine about developments in tank calibration, and a method for upgrading accuracy of tank tables, even when the tank remains in operation. As products like mineral oils and chemicals become more expensive, the need for reducing measurement uncertainties grows rapidly, says Hans van den Heijkant. One of the most important parameters for this measurement uncertainty is based on the storage tank's calibration table, from which transactions and/or inventory measurements are taken, he explains. The calibration table is known commonly as the strapping table in reference to the first calibration technique for storage tanks, but technology has come a long way since then, says Hans. "Although strapping the tank using measuring tapes has been the method for many years, developments in tank calibration have shown that more accurate methods have become available for calibrating the tank and, from this, more accurate tank tables can be issued." State-of-the-art Techniques which post-dated the strapping method have included the optical reference line (a trolley that moves along the tank shell) and optical triangulation, both developed in the 1980s. Since 1995, however, the state-of-the-art technique Electro-Optical-Distance- Ranging (EODR) has become available. "The EODR method is not only much more accurate than the older methods such as strapping, optical reference line and optical triangulation - in fact up to 5 times better - it is also much less time consuming," says Hans. "On top of this, the EODR method can be applied on in-use tanks - the external method - so upgrading the existing tank tables can be done even when the tanks remain in operation."


Going with the flow. Although accuracy and repeatability are the perennial requirements in flow metering, there are other considerations too. Tank Storage magazine looked at the pros and cons of the different technologies that deliver the must haves. Whichever side of the loading arm you stand - as buyer or seller - your money's on the line if the flow meter can't deliver a high degree of accuracy and repeat it time after time. Although all flow metering technologies used for custody transfer in the petroleum industry meet the required industry standards, some lay claim to greater accuracy or repeatability than others, and each has quite separate pros and cons that need to be considered. "It's fair to say that you get nothing for free, and so far no technology has emerged as clearly the best," asserts Peter Liptrot, at Daniel Measurement and Control, which produces metering equipment for high value custody transfer and fiscal duty applications, and has considerable expertise in the field of packaged flow measurement (skid) systems. Whether you opt for the traditional industry choices of turbine or positive displacement meters, or the newer technologies such as Coriolis or ultrasonic meters, depends on what you are trying to achieve, the limitations of your application, and how much money you have to spend, he explains. The traditional turbine Turbine meters remain widely used in the petroleum industry for several reasons. "The advantages of traditional - or mechanical - flow meters stem from the simplicity of their designs and the fact that they offer a primary flow signal," says Liptrot. "The output signal is produced by (and therefore precisely proportional to) the movement of the measuring element, which almost always is a faithful reproduction of the actual flow rate."


New products, new requirements, and the boom in the oil price are among the factors driving investment in tank construction and repair. Tank Storage magazine talks to manufacturers about developments in the industry. New build, old challenges The stream of new tank construction projects currently in progress or slated to start in the near future is partly a consequence of new product streams and new product developments in the chemical industry, says Jan Jochems, Director of Netherlands-based tank construction firm, IVENS. Another factor is the old chestnut of environmental regulations. One of the ways tank design has changed in recent years is towards higher pressure design, he explains, which produces lower emissions as well as creating a wider range of storage possibilities. Jochems has also noticed a trend towards larger building projects, which are subcontracted as turnkey jobs. "The purchaser expects from the tank contractor not only his specific technical know-how as tank builder, but also his ability to coordinate other tasks," he comments. At present, IVENS is building tank farms for ADPO and Oiltanking Antwerp, including a total of more than 40 new storage tanks - a combination of carbon and stainless steel, and shop-built and fielderected tanks. Shop-fabrication of larger tank sizes, in order to minimise delivery time and optimise building quality, is another tendency noted by Jochems. "To date, the largest tanks shop-fabricated and transported by IVENS have a diameter of 19.5m and height of 15m, and this seems certainly not to be the end of this development," he say.


In September, Tank Storage magazine was invited by CTS and Vopak to view the installation of aluminium dome and internal floating roof, just before completion. Here, we tell the story of tank 903 in pictures.


PAINT GOES GREEN The terms of the solvent emissions directive, due to take full effect at the beginning of 2007, will place tight restrictions on the level of solvents in tank linings and coatings in all installations. But many paint and coating manufacturers are already ahead of the game. As Morten Lauritzen, group project manager (protective coatings) with Hempel A/S explains: "There is a big push towards high volume solids. More and more customers set a minimum for the volume of solids. This is something we have been working towards for the last 10 years." With competition in the global market for protective coatings ever increasing, Hempel opened its Innovation Centre in Lundtofte, north of Copenhagen in Denmark, in May 2001. The purpose of the Innovation Centre is to set new standards for research and development in the paint industry, including the selection of new raw materials which are more environmentally friendly. Hempel is not alone in developing "greener" products. Matching performance Many companies - such as Sigma and Ameron - have a full range of high volume solids products. The challenge they now face is to develop products that match the performance of their less ecofriendly predecessors. Says Lauritzen: "There are products in the market with 100% volume solids, but the chemical resistance is not on par with the ones with low volume solids." At Sigma Coatings, Marketing Manager Gerard de Vries describes the company's approach to the challenge: "We are developing new products that are chemical resistant and that will offer a wide range of applications," he says. "This allows the tank operator to be as flexible as possible."