Tank Storage Magazine v12 i06


Volume: 12
Issue: 6
Date Published: October 12, 2016



The gateway to Germany's energy market

Following work to recommission an extensive amount of tank storage capacity, HES Wilhelmshaven has emerged as a key coastal terminal for Germany’s supply chain A former refinery on the North Sea has been transformed with ambitions to become the gateway for oil and gas imports and exports for Germany.Nestled on the western side of Jade Bight, a bay on the North Sea, HES Wilhelmshaven boasts 1.29 million m3 of capacity for crude oil, diesel, jet fuel, fuel oil, petrol and LPG following an extensive recommissioning programmeof idled storage.When the former Wilhelmshaven refinery was acquired in 2011, executives started work to operate the site as a storage terminal and offer an alternative storage solution for the ARA region.

Satisfying Germany's crude appetite

Located in Germany’s only deep water harbour, Nord-West Oelleitung’s downstream infrastructure not only supplies refineries in the northwest of the country but is also the only supplier for most of Germany’s crude reserves Situated in the most important crude importing harbour in Germany, Nord-West Oelleitung (NWO) serves a vitalrole in the crude supply chain as the largest supplier for the country’s crude stockpiling facilities.The tank terminal and pipeline operator mainly delivers crude from vessels arriving on the coast to six refineries in northwest Germany as Wilhelmshaven is the only German port that can handle VLCCs for refineries, making it a competitor to neighbouring Rotterdam.

It's all about location

Demand remains healthy for the distribution of refined products in Germany, where transport costs, the Rhine water levels and relating product prices strongly impact the storage market. Vaughan O’Grady reports Unlike its neighbours in the ARA region, the German tank storage market is more concerned with product distribution than the market contango.Krien van Beek, independent storage broker with RVB Tank Storage Solutions, explains: ‘Germany has very little domestic oil and natural gas production and relies heavily on imports. Germany is highly dependent on the import of motor petrol, gas/diesel oil and fuel oil.’While the country doesn’t produce oil, it has a number of refineries that supply a portion of the country. Patrick Kulsen, managing director of PJK International says that the country gets its crude oil mostly via pipelines either from Rotterdam or Wilhemshaven, a city along the coast in the northern part of Germany.

A new player for the UK's growing storage demand

The UK’s largest independent bulk liquid storage provider is situated at the heart of the UK’s product supply chain as the demand for fuel imports grows Early 2016 saw a package of tank storage acquisitions by Macquarie Capital and Greenergy completed to form the UK’s largest independent bulk liquid storage provider.Navigator Terminals was born following the sale of all of Vopak’s UK assets – comprising three terminals – combined with Greenergy’s North Tees terminal.The result is a company with a combined capacity of more than 1.5 million m3 for crude, petroleum, chemical, bitumen, liquefied gas and biofuel products.

Eliminating piping support weakness

A new approach ensures the thorough and comprehensive inspection of aboveground piping supports The global consumption of oil continues to grow, albeit at a slower rate than expected.According to the International Energy Agency’s oil market report, a 1.3 million barrel per day increase in the demand for oil is expected for 2016.Combined with the current market situation, there is an increased focus on the need for existing and aging assets to perform at their best. In addition, growing public awareness of health and environmental risks related to the oil industry raises the focus on spill prevention, while regulatory requirements are becoming more stringent.

Solving the seven most common tank gauging problems

Many terminals and tank farms struggle with tank gauging because they use outdated equipment, resulting in unreliable operations, inefficient routines and high operational costs. However, modern tank gauging systems can solve these issues, resulting in improved performance and profitability.When handling large volumes of liquids, it is imperative for refineries, chemical plants and bulk liquid storage terminal operators to know precisely how much product is in any given tank. When products change hands or are moved in or out of tanks, the monetary values involved can be enormous.Despite this, the devices and systems used to gauge tank contents often receive insufficient attention. One of the main reasons for this is that those responsible for inventory management and custody transfer often believe the technologies in these systems are static and there is little to gain from making improvements.As a result, they settle into familiar but ineffective work practices, believing the inefficiencies and uncertainties they deal with are simply part of their daily life.

Bringing the future to the tanker truck

Renovations at Gunvor-Raffinerie Ingolstadt refinery’s tanker truck loading station will improve safety, performance and efficiency In 2015, more than 102 million tonnes of crude oil were processed at refineries in Germany. Part of this was handled at the Gunvor refinery in the heart of Bavaria, which is undergoing a significant modernisation project on its tanker truck loading facilities to ensure smooth, efficient, environmentally friendly operations at the Ingolstadt depot well into the future.The Gunvor refinery has a processing capacity of around five million tonnes of crude oil per year. It is one of the most energy-efficient refineries in its class in Europe. After distillation, cracking and refining, the final products are loaded into tanker trucks at loading gantries. The facility has a total of ten loading gantries, but the equipment is more than 25-years old and modernisation was urgently needed.

Custody transfer meter diagnostics improve process stability

Over the past 20 years, improvements to metering technologies have sought to reduce maintenance costs, improveaccuracy and provide more process information at the metering point. Advancements in electronics and reduction in material costs have led to an increase in micro-processor based meters that offer accurate measurement as well as advanced diagnostic capabilities.These diagnostics provide significant benefit for process analytics, monitoring a meter’s health and allowing operators to be even more proactive to responding to metering issues.When it comes to flow measurement systems, whether it is custody transfer for pipeline or tank storage, leak detection or allocation, the ability to measure volume accurately is critical.

A new level of loading

‘Self-service’ driver operated loading is elevating tank terminal automation to a new level The trend towards self-service is becoming more commonplace in all aspects of society. It even extends to some tank terminals, where drivers can now manage the entire loading process from check-in to check-out on their own.This ‘driver operated loading’ concept is being made possible by modern software that supports each step of the process and ensures that the correct data is available in the right place at the right time.Driver operated loading eliminates unnecessary waiting times. It is welcomed not only by drivers but also by tank terminal operators, who can turn round more trucks per day and make more efficient use of their facilities – at any time of day or night. It also enables them to offer petroleum dealers better prices for their services.

360 degree surveillance for bulk liquid security

Evolving surveillance technology can help port and terminal operators tackle evolving security challenges Bulk liquid cargo vessels account for around 30% of the global merchant vessel fleet (excluding Ro-Ro). In 2015, nearly 9,000 bulk liquid ships moored at the Port of Rotterdam – a 3% increase from 2014. With these statistics, it is clear that bulk liquid is a cargo of significant importance.The complex infrastructure required to load/unload wet cargo, and the myriad risk scenarios associated with it, make for one of the most challenging safety and security environments imaginable. New risks have also emerged over the past decade. Port environments storing large quantities of toxic, flammable or explosive liquid are an archetypal ‘low probability, high hazard’ target; the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean has introduced vulnerable human cargo to terminal environments designed for goods handling; and operational pressures and efficient use of port infrastructure mean that a lot is going on at all times, across large areas.

Mixers play a key role in the petroleum supply chain

The criteria used by an Oklahoma refinery to update its mixing system Many of the largest oil-consuming nations, such as the US, have topped 95% of their available crude oil storage capacity. Other nations such as India and Mexico are capitalising on current oil prices to ensure their own energy independence by launching new strategic petroleum reserve programmes. As a result, the need to manage crude oil storage is increasing everywhere around the globe.With so much oil currently in storage, inventory management and speed of transport are important variables in the supply chain – particularly for refineries, where operators seek to maximise output, minimise costs, and ensure regulatory compliance.

Fighting the flames with foam

Fires in storage tanks, or the surrounding bunds, are a challenge to both firefighters and tank operators alike, as tank farms are often located in tight spaces and store various flammable liquids making the risks diverse and complex. Therefore there is no single technique to extinguish tank fires.Fuel storage tanks require different approaches to fire protection requirements depending on their construction.

Addressing challenges in oil and gas downstream distribution with Industry 4.0

In times of increasing cost pressure in the fields of downstream and secondary distribution, cost optimisation for all parties involved being increasingly focused on. Ongoing costs for vehicle fleets and the provision of technical equipment have to be optimised and workflows have to be streamlined as well.New options and techniques within the scope of the Internet of Things (IoT)/Industry 4.0 can help provide support in the process of achieving the objectives that have been set.One of the greatest challenges in the oil and gas downstream supply chain lies in using the transport resources available in a consistent and optimal manner.Even if route planning for fuelling operations at petrol stations is already standard nowadays, the refuelling of the tank trucks still takes place at fuel depots within the scope of running through the routes in an almost uncoordinated manner.

Solving critical firefighting problems

In firefighting applications, there are two different solutions depending on the type of fire that has to be extinguished. In the case of a ‘normal fire’ only water is used, but when the fire is caused by hydrocarbons, water is insufficient to extinguish the flames. In this case, the firefighting system has to use a mixture of water and foam that extinguishes the fire by covering it and starving it of oxygen.These types of firefighting systems are known as ‘proportioning systems’ because they are used to mix water with foam in different concentration (1%, 3% and 6%) and spray the mixture on the fire. The Leistritz L23NG is such a system.

Tailor-made rotary lobe pumps for stationary or mobile use

Rotary lobe pumps are used in different areas for conveying chemically aggressive, highly viscous media or media containing solids.Due to their compact dimensions, the positive displacement pumps are also suitable as submerged or mobile design. Börger produces the chassis, the pump and the control technology themselves. Three practical examples demonstrate the design options.The correct pump size for every single application is selected from a portfolio of 25 pump sizes with flow rates of 1 to 1,500 m3/h. All pump components are selected individually according to the requirements of the pumped medium and the customer. Rotors in different geometric designs and made of a wide range of different materials, pump casings made of grey cast iron, steel casting, stainless steel or Hastelloy and different sealing systems are available.