Safe tank lining training in Africa

The Wolftank safety instructor.

The prevention of environmental contamination caused by hazardous storage liquids and safe tank lining is a topic addressed by national economies, environmental ministries and oil companies worldwide.

Practically, in the case we describe in this study, the soil which requires protection is constantly exposed to underground storage tanks containing and handling hazardous liquids, -such as petrol and diesel and other chemical products-.

The African context

In Europe, over the past years, the European Union and the individual countries have taken measures to control and prevent leakage of hazardous liquids into the ground. They have issued laws requiring the installation of double-walled underground storage tanks with the corresponding leak detection units. However, these norms, requirements and thus state of the art have not been implemented fully in other countries of the world. Nevertheless, we can observe an increasing trend during the past years to do so.

Economies and the petroleum industry sector in Africa are developing largely in terms of oil exploration, refining and retail. Especially the retail service stations coverage on the African continent is recently showing a trend of raising density alongside the increase of local mobility.

The existing network of local service stations shows signs of technical standard deficiency, with corroded tanks and high leakage risk. Therefore, the growing market for service stations across Africa along with the assets’ environmental risk have become a driver. A key to choose between constructing new service stations -and therefore installing new ones- or developing tank linings. This option would mean a measure of tank lifetime extension within stations’ modernization campaigns.

The scope of the project

A local major oil company (MOC) in East Africa identified the need to line several hundreds of tanks in their service station network. This customer disclosed their doubt about existing resin technology and local contractors with lower technical and safety skill level.

The challenge

The challenge was to train the local contractor on safe tank lining and work in confined spaces. In addition, our team needed to support the customer in the implementation of the tank lining campaign.

Demo showed in the safe tank lining training.
Picture of the lined demo tank.

Wolftank compiled a documentation package describing:

  • the coating technology,
  • quality documents and
  • HSSE booklet with further risk assessment documents for each step of the tank lining.

Once the MOC analysed the documentation and asked its questions in local meetings, the customer decided to enable a pilot installation with the preferred local contractor of the MOC.

The solution

During the preparation phase, Wolftank Adisa introduced the local contractor in installation and safety equipment. The investment included equipment such as a compressor, an airless machine and testing devices, special safety tripod and personal protection equipment, i.e., full face mask, etc.
During the execution phase, Wolftank Adisa trained the contractor theoretically and practically on the job. At the same time, the team actively supervised it during a following lining pilot of 4 underground storage tanks.

In a short time, the team completed successfully and safely this pilot. Afterwards, the supervision phase began with a large tank lining campaign, implemented during the European summertime.

The outcome

The MOC highlighted the team’s professionalism and quality. And the customer is completely convinced now that implementing European standard in safe tank lining in Africa is totally possible.

Discover more about Wolftank Adisa’s lining systems here.

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