The flawless commissioning of tank 4 of Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal(OTAGT) is a milestone in many ways. Senior Project Director Ashutosh Kaushik: “Not only is it a huge storage tank, it is also our most energy efficient tank. And since commissioning last February, we have become the largest independent propane gas storage terminal in Europe.”
Propane gas plays an important role in the plastics industry. It is in fact the raw material of polypropylene; a well-known plastic that is used in, among other things, food packaging, household equipment and car parts. The propane gas is supplied in ships and stored in a gigantic OTAGT storage tank. From there it is pumped to their customer's factory, Borealis, 24/7. A few years ago, this company decided to build a new propane dehydrogenation plant (PDH) in Kallo (Antwerp). The new PDH plant can produce approximately 750,000 tons of propylene per year.
In order to supply the new factory with sufficient raw materials, OTAGT built a new propane storage tank with a capacity of no less than 135,000 m³ of propane. Senior Project Director Ashutosh Kaushik explains: “You have to think of it as Borealis' off-site storage. It is more practical for them not to have this on their own site. Moreover, a large storage tank has been chosen because we can unload very large gas carriers (VLGC). As a result, they save on transport costs, which constitute a considerable part of the cost price of the gas. For an investment of this size, we signed a decades lasting contract.”
Trust in KH Engineering
“KH Engineering carried out a lot of work for this tank and all additional installations and piping,” continues Kaushik. “They did the basic engineering, the detail engineering, part of the procurement and the field engineering during construction. We chose KH Engineering because of the long-standing good relationship. They know exactly what we need and how we want it. For example, we had to be absolutely sure that the installation would continue to work at all times. Because the propane gas is piped to the factory non-stop, where it is used as a raw material, our tank and associated pumping installation must not fail. For a project that requires such close attention, you want to work with a partner in whom you have trust. We have that trust in KH Engineering.”
OTAGT has previously built tank 3, which is used especially for INEOS, and has approximately the same volume. Kaushik: 'This was already the largest butane gas tank in Europe, and now we have another one, for propane. These investments have made us the largest independent LPG terminal in Europe. That is part of our strategic shift from oil to more climate-friendly raw materials such as gas.'
More information about Oiltanking: www.oiltanking.com.