Modern approach to tank cleaning puts safety first at Hungarian refinery case study


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An oil refinery with a keen interest in safety and modern approaches – and a service provider with the technology and partnerships to match. Those are the ingredients that introduced cutting-edge tank cleaning in Hungary.

Committed to safety, the MOL refinery employs non-man entry tank cleaning services delivered by C&S International Services and Euroclean. As a result, the last five years have seen C&S cleaning a total of 24 tanks in Hungary – large and small, with floating or fixed roofs, double or simple decks; crude oil tanks, fuel oil tanks, asphaltene and catalyst tanks.

Safety - a key concern for the MOL refinery
Eight years ago, the MOL refinery wanted to increase safety by avoiding having men enter the tanks. This prompted them to investigate modern approaches to tank cleaning as some of the first movers to do so, both in their area and within Europe in general.

Cost considerations prompted new approach
The commitment to safety did not mean that the issue of cost could be ignored. Says Marc Schindler, CEO of C&S: “The MOL refinery was, of course, aware that traditional tank cleaning, performed manually by people, was more competitive in terms of immediate investment costs. However, they were also aware that safer processes save money on intangible issues, such as accident prevention. A more easily quantifiable factor concerns the value of reclaimed oil; automated tank cleaning allows users to recover vast quantities of oil that would otherwise have gone to waste. This awareness made the fully automated BLABO system catch their attention.”

BLABO chosen for product quality and versatility
Mr Schindler continues, “While BLABO technology was not the client’s first experience with non-man entry tank cleaning, they decided to adopt the system in 2003 due to additional advantages specific to BLABO.” According to Mr Schindler, these included:

  • The opportunities for improving the quality of the recovered product thanks to the integrated separation unit. The recovered oil is analysed by MOL before being approved for use elsewhere.
  • The versatility of the BLABO facilitates cleaning of many different types of tanks as indicated above.

Partnering for efficiency and flexibility
To meet client requests with efficiency, C&S teamed up with Euroclean Hungary Kft., a local contracting company. Euroclean handles relations with MOL, local working conditions, and final cleaning. This leaves C&S free to concentrate on its core activity: automatic tank cleaning performed by skilled staff.

BLABO technology lets C&S and Euroclean customise services to MOL’s requirements, handling all tank types, sizes, and product types. The results have not gone unnoticed. Recently, C&S and Euroclean began cleaning large 80,000 m3 tanks belonging to the Hungarian government’s storage company (KT RT). The advantages of automated tank cleaning continue to spread.

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