This weekend a spectacular transport has taken place in the port of Antwerp. A fully-dressed storage tank, 16 meters wide and 12 meters high, was transported from the quay, over the railway, over the main avenue (Scheldelaan) and the median strip to its final destination in a nearby refinery. The tank is part of a larger project that was executed by the Belgian Engicon (Geldof). The company was responsible for the fabrication, the transport and the installation of two completely finalized storage tanks. This project is the foundation for a large-scale investment of the petrochemical sector in the Port of Antwerp.
“Our client, an important petrochemical company, was looking for a supplier that could serve as a single point of contact for the construction, the transport and the installation of the two completely finalized tanks on its site. Geldof was the perfect match”, says Xavier Mestdag, Director at Geldof. “It’s the largest diameter ever for our customer. Its internal specialists thought it would be impossible to deliver both tanks completely finalized on their site but we came up with a solution by transporting the largest tank over the main avenue to the site. The proximity of our workshops to the site was a big advantage for this project. Our team of engineers could be at the site quickly in order to support our client whenever necessary”, adds Mr. Mestdag.
Quick and safe
This shop-built approach doesn’t only shorten the lead time, it’s also safer. “We shorten the lead time because we build the tank at the same time the civil works take place. When the tanks arrive at the site we can immediately place them onto their foundations. This approach is also safer given the little space available to construct at the refinery and the chemicals that are present and form an explosion hazard. By building and finalizing the tanks in our shops and reducing the welding activities on-site to a minimum, we reduce this hazard.”
Spectacular 100 meters filled with challenges
The tanks were shipped to the Port of Antwerp. Then they still had to cross 100 meters from the quay to the refinery. The largest tank had to be transported over the main avenue. The road and railway were completely closed for traffic and a multitude of underground pipework had to be crossed. Approval of about 15 different parties was needed in order to allow the transport.
August 11th, 2014