The SafeTap in action a tank cleaner’s perspective case study


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The SafeTap tool from Oreco ensures quick, easy, and safe tapping of holes in oil tanks, allowing for speedy insertion of cleaning nozzles. Here, experienced tank cleaning professionals share their thoughts on the SafeTap and its main points: ATEX certification for Zone 0, easy and safe operation, rapid preparation, and more.

STS Tank Cleaning: Extensive experience
STS Tank Cleaning Services is a specialist contractor for automated cleaning and recovery of crude and fuel oil tanks in Europe. Based on more than 12 years of automated tank cleaning experience, STS was the first company to operate the BLABO equipment from Oreco, and STS has introduced BLABO technology in refineries throughout Europe.

Mr. Iñaki Sagredo, Operations Manager at STS Tank Cleaning, has over a decade of experience and has cleaned all types of tanks with the BLABO system: Slops, HFO, large crude oil, cut slurry, ballast tanks, etc., with floating or fixed roofs.

Avoiding bottlenecks
He points to how the SafeTap has made his work easier: “When we first began working with the BLABO system, we always faced a bottleneck: How to insert our cleaning nozzles safely and quickly. At that point, holes were drilled manually. Getting customer approvals for such hot-work on floating roof tanks was very complicated; and we needed 4 hours per hole, a lot of nitrogen, extra manpower, etc.”

Meeting ATEX requirements
The SafeTap makes the procedure much faster and meets the strict safety regulations in the industry: “A year ago our main customers required that all equipment used in safety areas should be ATEX certified. With the SafeTap tool we can do the job safely and fully meet customer demands. We have had no problems getting procedure approval, and would recommend the SafeTap tool to everyone. To Mr. Sagredo, the main advantages of the Oreco SafeTap are:

  • ATEX certifi cation for Zone 0
  • Easy operation . just plug the hydraulic connection
  • Safe and clear procedure
  • High quality to match all Oreco equipment

Hole created in 5 minutes
Mr. Sagredo also emphasises the speed of the Safe- Tap: After preparing the SafeTap tool, the hole itself is done in 5 minutes. We usually make 10 holes in tanks with an 80m diameter, and with the Safe- Tap everything is finished in four hours . including nozzle assembly.

Client agrees: A word from GALP ENERGIA, Portugal
Mr. Sagredo’s clients agree with his appraisal of the SafeTap. Mr. Mario Beirão, Senior Maintenance Engineer with GALP ENERGIA, Sines Refinery, has used several tank cleaning systems in his career but considers the BLABO as the most complete. He says: “For roof mechanical integrity reasons I prefer to do the holes on the roof rather than to pull out the supports legs when installing the nozzles. With the SafeTap, STS has the technology and experience required to do the holes safely and quickly.”

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