Since 2011, OCI Nitrogen has had an ammonia terminal in the Port of Rotterdam. A detailed inspection of the storage tanks in 2015 showed that a renovation was required. The two ammonia tanks have now been completely renewed. Moreover, they are now equipped with the latest technology and safety systems. "The tanks are again state-of-the-art and will be able to function properly for the next twenty or even twenty-five years. The renovation work has been very successful", says Terminal Manager André Meulmeester.
OCI Terminal Europoort connects parent company OCI Nitrogen with the North Sea. "We use the terminal for storing and transhipping ammonia and ammonia solution", André explains. "The renovation of the tanks has doubled the terminal's capacity." That means that in the near future, more seagoing vessels will be berthing at the jetty to load and unload ammonia.
The first tank was renovated in 2015 and the second was scheduled for 2016. The insulation was renewed, both tanks were given a new roof and a lift was installed to reach the roof safely. "The insulation was very bad and would not have lasted another twenty years", says André Meulmeester. The pipework was also fully renovated. "In the old situation, we had only one pipe to fill the tank. This is not very desirable if you have to remove the liquid quickly in an emergency. We now have a completely new system in which the loading and unloading are separate and take place, moreover, far quicker. We fill the tank from the top with the new pipeline and empty it at the bottom with a larger pipeline."
Operation with a major impact
In accordance with national and international guidelines and legislation, entirely new instrumentation was fitted. This work related to aspects such as double level measurement, independent overfill protection, temperature measurements and pressure measurements. Furthermore, all safety devices were renewed, as were all walkways and steps, and the ammonia detection system was replaced. About thirty companies participated in the renovation and the work involved 45,000 man-hours. "Looking back, I can conclude that this renovation has been a huge success for OCI Terminal Europoort," says André Meulmeester. "It was an operation with a major impact; almost everyone here was involved in some way or other. The most important result is that we have been able to extend the inspection period to twenty and perhaps even twenty-five years. That saves a great deal of money and avoids risks in the future."