Zueitina Terminal achieved US $700,000 savings from automated tank cleaning case study


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Zueitina Terminal received as much as US $700,000 worth of recovered oil - oil that under manual cleaning procedures would have been dumped in desert ponds.

Libyan Zueitina Terminal asked Oreco business partner VAOS Ltd. (Value-Added Oil Service) to clean a crude oil storage tank of 79,000 m3 capacity, with 5,300 m3 sludge content. VAOS purchased the BLABO system from Oreco early in the year 2003, and since then has relied on it for this type of project.

A safe, cost-effective method
Oreco’s BLABO technology is a turn-key system for the automated cleaning of large, “difficult-toclean” above-ground tanks storing crude oil and heavy fuel oil. In one safe and environmentally friendly process, the systems desludge, clean and recover hydrocarbons – and no one needs to enter the tanks at all. Using the BLABO system, VAOS cleaned the tank recovering 4,969 m³ of crude oil for Zueitina. Throughout the entire project, no VAOS workers ever had to enter the tank or risk exposure to potentially harmful substances.

Savings for the customer
Working with Oreco’s automated cleaning system, VAOS recovered 94% of the oil in Zueitina’s tank – a savings of more than 700,000 USD. The recovery Zueitina Terminal, October 2003 rate of 94% was more than expected by Zueitina and VAOS did not even use its BLABO separation module. The use of the separation unit would have increased the recovery rate to nearly 100%. In addition, the job was completed with total environmental safety: normally, oil recovered from a tank cleaning job ends up in desert oil ponds. Automated cleaning enabled Zueitina to safely extract the oil and transfer it into other tanks. The recovered oil was pumped via a flow-measurement unit directly to a tank owned by AGIP.

Additional challenges
A double-deck tank roof made installation of BLABO’s roof-installed cleaning nozzles difficult. To complicate matters further, leaks in Zueitina’s tank roof made it hard to bring down oxygen levels. VAOS used Oreco’s “SafeTap” method of cutting through, rendering the process safe and efficient.

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