Tank Storage Magazine v03 i04


Volume: 3
Issue: 4
Date Published: December 1, 2007



Solid growth continues in the Middle East, India and Pakistan storage industries

Demand for refining, distribution and storage services and products in the Middle East, Arabian Gulf, India and Pakistan is very much on the increase. Reasons given for this are varied, including investment in additional refining capacity. However, the general consensus is that these regions are looking to develop their own manufacturing and processing infrastructures, resulting in a higher demand for energy products. To a lesser degree, populations are on the increase and countries are investing more resources in tourism, thereby placing greater pressures on the infrastructure. In the Middle East and Gulf, this is driving forward the exploitation of new and older fields and additional investment in refining capacity. The fast-growing economy in India has been well reported internationally. The economy in the April-June quarter of 2007 grew a faster-than-expected 9.3% from a year earlier, led by robust manufacturing and services. Reports from India indicate that refining capacity is expected to reach 152 million tonnes this year, rising to 257 million tonnes by 2012. In Pakistan and India, there is talk of opening up new reserves and developing greater refining capacities, all of which place increased demand on terminal and tank farm facilities. According to Muhammad Rasheed Jung, MD of leading energy company Parco, the Pakistan GDP is rising to a 20 year high and energy forecasts show a growing energy deficit in the next 15 years, which must be catered for by enhancing the refining base in the country. Lawrie Pattison from international marine terminal operatior DP World’s UAE region reports that for the Middle Eastern chemical, petrochemical and plastics industries, the opportunities are good in the global market. ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alone is expected to contribute more than 60 million tonnes of petrochemicals to the world this year, according to the Gulf Petroleum Chemicals Association (GPCA).’ He goes on to say that estimates indicate that the global petrochemicals industry will grow by another 13% in the region by 2010. DP World is in a prime position to comment on what is happening throughout the Gulf and Middle East. Its Jebel Ali Port in Dubai saw the volume of petroleum products imported and exported increase to more than 21 million tonnes in 2006. Inevitably, this increase has led to the expansion not just of loading and unloading facilities but also an increase in tank storage. Jebel Ali is on the agenda for international chemical distributor Solvochem, which is expanding its tank capacities in Jordan, Egypt and Kenya. Planning permission has been obtained from the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) for the construction of bulk storage tanks to be implemented in the near future. The extended terminal will also enable Solvochem to store more products from many multinational companies, making the terminal a hub for the supply of various products to customers in the Gulf, Africa, Asia and other markets. ‘This is being done to meet the growing market demand and increasing range of products,’ reports Solvochem’s MD Anthony Flouty. ‘The main factor behind our new tank expansion is the diversification of our product range. Our market share has been increasing and our ability to fully understand the complex customs and banking requirements of our markets have made us the preferred supplier for most of our customers. Additionally, by being positioned throughout the area, we are able to guarantee supply to customers from more than one location.’ To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Doing the common uncommonly well

Between the oil fields of the world and the users of derivative products, independent storage terminals like Star Energy Oiltanking (SEOT) in Jebel Ali, Dubai, perform a vital connecting service. Independent storage terminals are those which are not owned by the clients they serve and do not own any of the products they handle – in a nutshell a petroleum products warehouse. SEOT is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi-based Star Energy Group and Hamburgbased Oiltanking. The joint venture leverages Oiltanking’s leadership in the terminalling business and Star Energy’s experience and knowledge within the Middle East. Oiltanking, founded in 1972, has become over the last three decades the second largest independent storage provider worldwide for oils, chemicals and gases, and owns and operates 74 terminals with a total storage capacity exceeding 12 million cubic metres in 21 countries. Beside the terminals, Oiltanking operates marine facilities and 1700 km of pipeline. Star Energy Group was established in 1983 to provide services in international trading, transportation, storage and marketing of products. As part of the group’s strategic vision Star Energy Resources Ltd (SERL) was founded in 1987 to provide independent product storage services to the industry. Consequently the terminal in Jebel Ali was commissioned in 1988. Similar business and operation philosophies of SERL and OT provided an ideal basis for the formation of a successful joint venture now operating under the brand name Star Energy Oiltanking. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

New methods of tank fire fighting

The need for large capacity storage tanks over 80-100 metres diameter has brought a new challenge to firefighters around the globe. The extinguishment of such fire surfaces is not simply a question of quantity, which can be solved by increasing the number of foam generators or foam pourers, new theories and methods also need to be developed. All the traditional recommendations and standards (including NFPA, BS, API, VcS, EN) suggest using static tactical rules for fighting fire in hydrocarbon storage tanks. In this case the foam application rate is independent (static) of the fire surface. But experience shows a poor success rate when using low foam application intensity values. Conventional foam systems In conventional foam systems a number of steps are required to convert foam concentrate, water and air into foam. The foam can subsequently be applied onto the burning surface. In the majority of cases these activities take place close to the scene of the fire. A team of trained manpower is required to set up these relatively complicated systems. In view of the tense situation during any fire, mistakes are likely to be made resulting in malperformance of the system. The users have, over the past few years, had no choice but to accept this complicated and expensive system. But the on-going drive to reduce costs in the industry in general has, in many cases, resulted in very low manpower levels. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Fighting pressure fires

History shows from time to time incidents happen in tank farms, plants and refineries. Each fire teaches people to improve systems and create new standards and processes. No fire is like any other, so fire fighting equipment needs to be specialised. One example of the particular risk in the oil and chemical industry is a 3D or jet fire. This occurs when burning liquid is under pressure. These 3D fires can be caused by an external explosion, radiant heat or mechanical damage at tanks, pipelines or piperacks. Pressure fires can be found at bottom flanges of tanks, valves, pump stations, pipelines racks, ships, vents and broken or burned seals. Weak valves can brake or a ignited spill can burn some pipe sealings away. When the sealing at the bottom flange or the pipe to that flange is destroyed, there is no possibility of stopping the fuel escaping from the tank. This causes a significant amount of pollution and can trigger other fires. The right agent to attack the 3D fires is dry chemicals, but these are difficult to apply. In nearly all incidents the area surrounding a pressure fire is filled with burning fuel which can be extinguished with foam. But for safety reasons fire fighters are not allowed into this area. Texas-based Williams Fire & Hazard Control has developed a new technology which can apply dry chemicals from the same distance as standard dry chemical technology, but with a lesser application rate. Williams combines a tunnel shaped water foam stream with the dry chemical agent, which is placed in the centre of the tunnel. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

StocExpo returns to the Middle East

Bahrain has been strategically selected for StocExpo Middle East this year, due to its proximity to the major oil markets of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Recent investment in the region has been rich, satisfying an increase in local demand as well as business for export. Enlargement of the region’s refineries and storage facilities is coinciding with an all-time high world demand for petroleum. The petrochemicals industry in the Middle East is still in its youth and growing fast. The region also benefits from its geographical position, with Europe to the west and the booming Asian markets to the east. This year’s event is set to follow on from last year’s success in Dubai. The exhibition and conference will expand in size compared to 2006, with additional demand from companies aspiring to target decisionmakers from the tank terminal sector. Terminal operators have an opportunity to meet, listen to and engage in an array of sector-specific subjects relating directly to the dayto- day activities within oil and petrochemical facilities. StocExpo Middle East 2007 also invites equipment and service suppliers to tap into the import markets. The specialist two-day conference unites a collection of expert speakers ensuring delegates are fully up-to-date on topics such as terminal security, vapour control, regulations, tank construction, terminal automation, tank cleaning and a host of other presentations, assisting companies in the safe, efficient and cost-effective operation of their terminals. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Building on a boom

It was in Poland that Ignacy Lukasiewicz invented the first method of distilling kerosene from rock oil. He went on to develop his techniques on a commercial level, and in 1856 was responsible for the first industrial crude oil distillery, which included storage tanks for both crude oil and derivative products. Discoveries of oil became more common from the midnineteenth century and with it a direct demand for storage spurred on the tank construction industry. Tank storage through the ages Those in the petrochemical industry found it difficult to access the early storage tanks due to poor infrastructure. Locations were often fixed near specific supply or delivery companies. After more investment from independent traders, making the product more mobile and expanding the reach of the industry, the locations of storage tanks became more strategic, and closer to transport routes. As technology developed, automation systems were implemented, cutting labour costs and improving accuracy. Automated loading and unloading facilities, vapour recovery and safety systems became standard. Flexibility of tank storage was an attractive benefit, with numerous companies building storage tanks at their construction shops or on the field, satisfying customer requirements. The building of steel tanks to store petroleum, or petrochemical products has been a growing industry for over 150 years. In late 2005, Ivens, a Belgium-based tank construction company, had constructed 40 storage tanks. This has quadrupled this year, and Ivens is now building more than 160 storage tanks, and negotiating a number of other projects. Tanks are generally constructed to meet a storage requirement. Some clients speculate on the potential storage market and construct new tanks so that the storage space can be sold to meet client demand. Alternatively, tanks are constructed to replace existing tanks that have come to the end of their working life. ‘Most storage facilities would expect their tanks to last a significant length of time. However, how long it takes is all down to the type of product stored in the tank and the maintenance regime adopted at the facility,’ comments UK-based Land and Marine business development manager Dave Wilson. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Coatings with a touch of green

Coatings and linings for tanks have been going green for some time. But 31 October is a turning point as compliance with the EU Solvent Emissions Directive becomes statutory, obligating tank operators to use coatings and linings that meet tight restrictions on solvent levels and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. Fortunately, most coating and lining manufacturers have developed products well in advance to meet EU SED 1999/13/EC and its latest amendments. Major hydrocarbon, chemical and petrochemical operators also recognise the need to demonstrate an environmentally friendly approach, as well as meeting safety and occupational exposure requirements in line with Article 7 of the SED. However, the emerging biofuel market, and bioethanol in particular, requires a new generation of coating and lining products to handle a variety of feedstocks. Furthermore, as oil production comes on stream from deeper reservoirs, there is a need to store high viscosity crude at raised temperatures. Generally, tank linings serve two purposes – to protect the steel container and to protect the chemical contained. Both demands are being met with innovative solutions which match or exceed the performance of former less eco-friendly products. New criteria Derek Arthur, market manager of protective coatings at International Paint, part of Akzo Nobel, believes that Interline 984, a two-component, solvent-free, chemically resistant and heavy duty epoxy phenolic tank liner meets most of the new criteria in terms of high performance. ‘We can provide corrosion protection to the internal of steel storage tanks covering an extensive range of products, including crude oil up to 95?C, lead-free petroleum blends, aromatics and aliphatic solvents.’ Interline 984 can be used as either a single coat reinforced system or in conjunction with fibreglass to form a glass reinforced laminate system. It has been specially formulated for chemical resistance, with extended recoat intervals. Interline 955 is also a heavy duty vinyl ester suitable for storage of hot media and acid chemicals at elevated temperatures up to 90?C. Arthur maintains: ‘We are also getting requests for high temperature performance up to 120?C.’ To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Measure for measure

There is a spectrum of flow metering technologies on offer for custom transfer in the petroleum and petrochemical sector to meet demanding industry standards. Some opt for the traditional industry measurement workhorses of turbine or positive displacement (PD) meters, while others favour newer technologies such as Coriolis or ultrasonic meters. The choice depends on what the company is trying to achieve, the preferred performance parameters and budget considerations. Turbines for traditionalists The petroleum industry has strong allegiance to the use of turbine meters. Traditional or mechanical flow meters offer simplicity and easy maintenance, with a single moving part: the rotor. They offer the benefit of a primary output signal which is proportional to the movement of the measuring element, reproducing the actual flow rate. However, tank operators also recognise that turbine meters are susceptible to the vagaries of liquid swirl and changing fluid velocities. ‘Careful installation is necessary in accordance with specified flow conditioning practice and regular verification,’ says Peter Syrnyk, director of liquid measurement at worldwide supplier of process automation services and technologies Emerson Process Management. Nevertheless, turbine meters provide reliable and repeatable measurement for clean products, and from a price perspective are generally the most economic type of flow meter. ‘You can get 20 years out of a turbine meter, with merely 0.1% drift as long as they are used for the products they were designed for,’ says Syrnyk. There is certainly plenty of choice on the market. Emerson is a major player with brands including Daniel, Micro Motion and others. Emerson’s Daniel Control Series 1500 liquid turbine flow meter serves crude oil and refined product loading and offloading and marketing terminal applications for custody transfer measurement. The Series 1500 has tungsten carbide bearings and delivers +/-0.15% accuracy and +/-0.02% repeatability, with the option of a second universal mounting box (UMB). A 4in Series 1500 meter costs about $5,500 (€3,900). Emerson has also developed a turbine meter with a Teflon coated rotor for custom transfer of bioethanol or biodiesel blends. Syrnyk notes that tank operators may need two different sizes of turbine meter to cover a flow range, and a pressure drop of 3-4psi depending on the viscosity of the fluid. ‘Users also need to incorporate flow conditioning on the liquid turbine meter, to take out any swirl in the flow which could affect accuracy,’ he explains. There has been significant consolidation in the metering equipment market over the last few years. Earlier this year, US-based Idex Corporation acquired French company Faure Herman SA, a leading provider of helical turbine and ultrasonic flow meters for custody transfer. Faure Herman’s products include the Heliflu helical rotor flow meter as well as the FH8500 ultrasonic flowmeter. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Buncefield put back in the spotlight

The Buncefield oil depot fire of December 2005 was always going to be a key theme looming over the UK Tank Storage Association’s (TSA) event. In fact, the hosting of the conference was even delayed until an additional report on the incident was published at the end of July. The findings were presented to the bulk liquid storage industry at a time when the issue of health and safety has never been more animate. To start the day, TSA’s chairman Martyn Lyons reminisced on the last 12 months, praising the good feedback from the industry and its fluent communication on issues surrounding health and safety. He also highlighted recent factors affecting the industry including the change in European legislation, the move of chemical manufacturers to the east and the emergence of the biofuels market to fill the gap. The Buncefield Standard Task Group (BSTG) and the Major Incident Investigation Board (MIIB) have now published several reports. The presentations, correspondingly, centred on the BSTG’s findings. This year’s keynote speaker was the UK Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Kevin Allers, or Chemical Kevin, as he is better known in the industry. Allers addressed the need to better engage with the industry and improve the efficiency of staff within it. He identified three key aims: to preclude any major accidents or hazards, work with people on issues concerning health, and encourage a greater advisory capacity for local authorities involved with site and planning issues. He spoke on the necessity of skilled staff working for a sustainable future. This sustainability has been questioned lately, and the industry pressured by misconceptions which damage the trust and credibility in the sector. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details

Nordic Storage has the right idea

Listening to one of Sweden’s top speakers at a luxurious hotel overlooking Monaco, one would be excused for forgetting they were at a petrochemical storage event. On 12-13 September Sweden-based Nordic Storage held a conference to bring together industry members throughout the supply chain. Having held a similar event in France last year, the company was hoping for comparative success in Monaco. And it need not have worried. The event kicked off on the first day with an imaginative presentation on how even a seemingly conservative industry requires a vast amount of creativity and new ideas. The speaker, Teo Härén, explained that in such a competitive industry giving a customer only what they ask for is no longer enough. To exemplify this, and prove there is always more than one way of solving a problem, his anecdotal speech covered ways of using a brick, the most efficient method of doing the high jump and the supposedly correct direction to swim in a pool. His presentation certainly gave delegates something to think about, and by the end, it was clear to anyone listening why he has been nominated as Sweden’s speaker of the year. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details