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Safe operation of sulfuric acid storage tanks requires regular inspection

Chemical distributor Acinor AS operates, among other things, a storage tank terminal for sulfuric acid at the Øra industrial area in Fredrikstad, Norway. According to government requirements, inspection of the sulfuric acid tank must be carried out every five years. And that's where Kiwa comes in.

The owner of storage tanks or tank terminals is responsible for ensuring that applicable laws and directives are complied with. Gry Eian, Department Manager for Inspection in Kiwa Norway, emphasizes that tanks are exposed to great stress, and to keep the tank in operation and carry out proper maintenance at the right time, regular inspections are required. “During such an inspection, we examine the tank and associated components for signs of decay or defects, such as wear, breakage and corrosion,” says Eian. “Using advanced non-destructive methods (NDT), this can be done easily and cost-effectively with very reliable results. We also make an assessment of the condition of the tank in accordance with the international standard EEMUA 159.”

Safety above all

Managing director of Acinor, Rolf Egil de Flon, emphasizes that the inspection of the sulfuric acid tank that Kiwa performs plays a significant role in the work with maintenance and safe operation of the tank. “For us, it is absolutely fundamental that the safety aspect is taken care of. The Acinor tank terminal with associated pipelines has a storage capacity of 16,000 tonnes. It goes without saying that a leak would have catastrophic consequences.” De Flon continues: “Sulfuric acid is a very dangerous product if it goes astray. The safety of those who have their workplace in connection with the terminal has first priority, and the environmental aspect is of course also very important. In addition, there are also the financial implications that such an event would entail.”

Comprehensive regulations

According to de Flon, Acinor has put considerable effort into obtaining an overview of the comprehensive regulations that the company must comply with. “Both the Tank Regulations and a number of other laws and regulations apply to our business. We have made a great effort to understand and comply with current laws and regulations and create a system that suits us. All measures, such as maintenance plans and inspection routines, have been prepared on the basis of risk analyzes. We are also environmentally certified in accordance with ISO 14001. For us, it is a conscious choice to let an independent third party look at our cards and get an external assessment of our safety work.”

Expertise in tank terminals

The Managing Director says that Kiwa's experience with this type of storage tank, was one of the reasons why Acinor chose to engage Kiwa as an inspection body: “We experience that Kiwa has high competence in its field. We trust the observations that are made and the report that says what needs to be improved and what is in order. I am very pleased with the work Kiwa has done both in connection with this inspection and at the previous inspection five years ago. Continuity in the collaboration is also an important value.”

About Acinor

Acinor AS offers import, sale and distribution of chemical products. The company supplies commodity chemicals to the process industry, petrochemicals, metal mining and the production of water purification chemicals and fertilizers. Acinor AS started in 2004 with the distribution of sulfuric acid. Today, they supply over 100 different goods and services, with sulfuric acid as the main product.

Video: Tank inspection at Acinor

Watch how our colleagues from Kiwa Norway perform the inspection of Acinor's sulfuric acid tank.

More information

Read more about Kiwa's tank inspection services here.

This article has been originally published by Kiwa Norway.