Using steel for critical petroleum storage
The supply of XLERPLATE® steel for the construction of nine fuel storage tanks at Port Botany in Sydney, completed late in 2009, "was a critical element of the project," according to Rob Patterson, Operations Manager, Saunders International Limited. Saunders is a leading Australian specialist in the design, fabrication, construction and maintenance of bulk steel storage facilities for the water, petrochemical and infrastructure industries.
"The steel used had to be consistently of the highest quality for our client, Vopak Terminals Australia, and produced and supplied exactly to the delivery sequence and schedule outlined at the time of order," Rob continued. "We chose to use BlueScope Steel as a steel supplier for these projects based on their reliability, high level of quality and commitment to customers.
"BlueScope proved to be the right choice as they delivered on time to our factory or directly to site, where a 'delivery on demand' or 'just in time' approach was adopted. This saved on double handling of the material, with the usual method being delivery to, and storage of the plate in, the workshop, then delivery to site from the workshop when required."
Rob Patterson, Operations Manager, Saunders International Limited
The 24 metre high petrochemical bulk storage tanks were constructed across two separate jobs and vary in diameter from 16 to 39.5 metres. All have aluminium geodesic dome roofs and aluminium internal floating blankets to minimise evaporation and the release of vapours. The containment of evaporation and vapours makes the tanks safer and minimises any environmental impact.
A total of approximately 3,100 tonnes of Grade 250 XLERPLATE® steel, 6mm to 26mm thick, was used to fabricate the shell and floor of the nine tanks.
Grade 250 XLERPLATE® steel is the most widely used grade in the range for fabrication in Australia because of the good combination of properties it possesses strength, formability and weldability.
The tanks were designed to meet regulatory guidelines and hold a combined total of 158,000 cubic metres of refined petroleum product.
The project took 23 months to complete, using a construction crew of 25 people. Fabrication took place on sections of the floor and shell, whilst erection and welding of the pre-fabricated sections took place entirely on-site.
The fabrication process included using a plasma cutter to strip (or cut) the XLERPLATE® steel to the required size and shape. This helped ensure tank design code construction tolerances were maintained during site construction. Other processes included the XLERPLATE® steel being rolled to the required radius and bevelling of the edges to form the required angle for welding.
"During the course of the project we found any steel supply request be it technical, commercial or schedule related was dealt with promptly," said Rob. "The customer support BlueScope offers is one of the reasons it is our preferred steel supplier." Bilfinger Berger Services Australia was the head contractor for the project, whilst Vopak itself is the world's largest provider of conditioned storage facilities for bulk liquids. The work was commissioned as a part of the expansion of Vopak's Port Botany petroleum terminal.
The company provides complete storage and transhipment solutions at 79 terminals in 31 countries, covering and connecting the world's major shipping lanes. Vopak offers more storage capacity than any other independent tank terminal operator in the world.