Van Leeuwen
Four reasons why Van Leeuwen is the specialist for Tank Terminal projects

Four reasons why Van Leeuwen is the specialist for Tank Terminal projects

Joost van den Oosterkamp
Van Leeuwen Buizen, Zwijndrecht

Van Leeuwen has a proven track record as a supplier of pipe and tube material for tank terminal projects. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus this market is developing even faster. To be successful as supplier for tank terminal projects there is more to it than you might think. Many core competences of Van Leeuwen play a vital role.

I started at Van Leeuwen in 1990 and was involved in Energy related projects almost from the beginning. I gained experience in this market by managing MRO contracts (maintenance and repair) for large oil companies. Moreover, I was responsible for export projects to the Middle East and North Africa for some years. In the past 30 years, I have gained experience with all aspects of project management in the Energy market, for example in various tank terminal projects. In this blog I will tell you more about this market.

Increased demand for tank storage

Caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the decreased demand for energy that resulted from it, investments in oil and gas processing (e.g. petrochemical refineries, hydrocrackers) are being postponed or even cancelled. We now face a worldwide shortage of storage capacity because the supply is larger than the demand. This trend was already visible before the coronavirus outbreak, but has been accelerated by it. Right now we are still mainly talking about storage of oil and gas, but in the future, storage of hydrogen will be an important issue as well.

Building a new tank storage terminal takes years of planning and calculation. Only when it is commercially attractive to build a tank terminal and the site is available, the plan will be executed. Because these projects are usually complex and spread over several years, most core competences of Van Leeuwen fully come into their own.

1. Good relationships with the mills

Usually, very large volumes of pipe material with specific quality demands are necessary to build a tank terminal. Delivery time is often very important. Because of our good relationship with mills all over the world we can find the right mills that meet the quality demands and the delivery time for each project.

2. Worldwide storage capacity close to the customer

The large quantity of pipes, fittings and flanges that are involved are often produced in one batch by a mill. Then, these materials have to go somewhere, because mills cannot store such large volumes. Van Leeuwen has a network of dozens of stock sites worldwide, which enables us to offer temporary storage close to the customer. We take care of the supply to the tank storage site in smaller batches in close cooperation with the customer.

3. Extensive material knowledge

Engineers may specify different material standards, product qualities and inspections for a tank terminal project. At Van Leeuwen we have many years of experience in this segment. We know how to read and interpret these specifications very well, leading to an offer of the appropriate materials.

There are specifications according to EN (Euronorm) standards, in other cases ASTM material (American standard) is required. Not every engineer has the same understanding about welded or seamless material. For some tank terminals, all pipes above 8” outside diameter may be welded, whereas they must be seamless until 24” for other projects. Depending on the medium that will be transported and stored, the customer chooses for carbon or stainless steel, or even for alloyed material. The wide assortment of Van Leeuwen covers all these requirements, so in case of shortage we usually can deliver from stock as well.

4. Project Management organization

Besides managing the supply chain and offering the right materials, project management is an important competence for tank terminal projects. We always form a team of specialists for each project, led by a project manager. Experts in the team solve commercial and technical issues, expedite the material deliveries, generate status reports, ensure the supply of all relevant material certificates and take care of the financial issues. The project manager leads the team and communicates regularly with the customer.

HES Hartel Tank Terminal

A good example where we can deploy all our competences is the project for the new HES Hartel Tank Terminal close to Rotterdam. On a 27 hectare site, a state of the art terminal is being built for the storage of oil products and biofuels. In 54 tanks, ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 m3, a total storage capacity of 1.3 million m3 will be available. It is the largest newbuilt tank terminal in The Netherlands.

For Van Leeuwen I am managing this project. We supply all pipes, fittings and flanges for the pipeline that connects the refinery to the tank storage and for the piping materials on the tank terminal itself. No less than 80 km of pipe and around 20,000 fittings and flanges in a mix of carbon and stainless steel are involved. Outside diameters range from ½” to 24”. It is a highly interesting and challenging project where all our competences are brought to the table. We therefore trust that we will complete this project to the full satisfaction of our customer.

Would you like to know more about our proposition for worldwide tank terminal projects? Please contact us!

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