Storage infrastructure: Tank farms, safety and security

(L to R) K Vasudevan, Director, Liquidgaz Energy; P Anil Kumar, Head-Infra Task Force, BPCL; N Jithendra, Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited; Jayyannt L. Lapsiaa, President, All India Liquid Bulk Importers and Exporters Association (AILBIEA).

SOPs need to be followed while developing and operating tank farms to ensure safety. Government should bring stringent regulatory norms for building shore tank farms

Jayyannt L. Lapsiaa, President, AILBIEA raised concerns on scanty safety measures some seaports and businesses are taking while setting up shore tank farms. “Some people build shore tanks without realizing the possible dangers, safety concerns, and various nitty-gritties involved in the tanking business” he highlighted when moderating a session in the India Liquid Cargo Summit 2018.

 Building tank farms and giving them to someone else to operate, not keeping separate tanks for edible oils and industrial chemicals and hazardous liquids are some of the unethical practices that are going on. The government should bring stringent regulatory norms for building shore tank farms infrastructure as liquid bulk cargo volumes are surging significantly in all segments, Jayyannt opined.

Plot area, facility design, equipment or hardware used for storage, Standard Operating Practices (SOPs), and compliance rules followed, all these aspects need to be considered while talking about the safety and security of shore tank farm infrastructure, K. Vasudevan, Director of Liquid Gas explained.

His company Liquid Gas is going to set up LPG storage terminal in Krishnapatnam Port in association with National Gas Company, Oman. In this context, Vasudevan shared the major safety aspects to consider when setting up a storage infrastructure for liquid cargo. However, he confined his talk specifically to LPG storage, as an expert in that field. “Scope of safety is much wider these days. When you say safety, we look at it as HSSE – Health, Safety, Security, and Environment.” Vasudevan said.

Safety always starts from the concept stage of a project. When setting up an LPG storage terminal, design plays a crucial role in safety and security. If the storage capacity is up to 10,000 tonnes refrigerator design works best and if it’s more one should go for pressurized storage design, he said.

When it comes to LPG storage equipment or hardware, cylindrical or spherical steel tanks which may be above ground, underground or mounted, can be used based on the geological conditions. He informed the delegates that Standard Operating Practices (SOPs), and compliance rules and regulations to be followed at every stage to ensure zero incidents.