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Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/05/2012 4:58 AM

The shell to shell distance between tanks is equal to the sum of the diameters of the two tanks divided by 6. If the tanks are provided with sprinklers to cool down the tanks and protected by fixed foam system, could we have spacing less than 1/6 of the sums of the tank diameters. If yes, please indicate the codes where this is specified.

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#1

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/05/2012 5:43 AM

My advice:

  1. Get a copy of your local code
  2. Read it
  3. Talk to your local inspectors

You don't say where you are, so we can't really help you. If you're in South America, how will a European code help you?

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/06/2012 12:45 AM

We are from a country in Southeast Asia and our local fire code does not specify anything about safety distances for storage tanks. Inspectors and designers here always refer to US codes like NFPA, API, ASME etc.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/06/2012 2:29 AM

Then you need to find out which codes your local inspectors will refer to and/or use, get a copy and work to those codes. Simple really!

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/06/2012 5:16 AM

Maybe you (the OP) could find out how to lobby to get one adopted as a standard in your area or country. I know a number of Asian countries use standards developed by other countries - think how much time and money it saves not to have to develop your own!

For example, Hong Kong uses European drive-by noise legislation. Your country could follow their example and start with older versions of the regulations if going straight to the latest would cause businesses to close due to implementation costs and then work through to the current ones at a quicker rate than US/EU actually did. That approach is a little more difficult with health and safety work, but some sort of phased national introduction would be necessary to be practical.

Good luck with with your work and your search. Once you've got the regulations, feel free to come and ask us for clarification or advice if you need to.

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#2

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/05/2012 8:50 AM

In addition to the advice given by English Rose, don't forget to add volume to your containment area (if required in your local) if you are adding additional storage capacity

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#8
In reply to #2

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/06/2012 1:21 PM

EPA regs are 110 % of largest tank or if you have double walled containment it may not be necassary.

AZDOT requires us to have 150% of all of our containers down to 5 gallon pails, so your best bet is to contact your local authority for containment.

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#9
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Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/06/2012 4:35 PM

I think EU regs are also 110%. The word you're looking for is "bunding" or "bund" - it means a sealed catchment area in case of tank leakage. (Apologies if you know this; only trying to help).

BTW: if you go to www.europa.eu you can search for and download all EU legislation free of charge. In any European language that takes your fancy!

There are also often guidance notes and explanatory documents. Even if the details of the requirements are different in your codes, the principles will be the same and so may find these documents to be of use. I can't give you precise links, as these are not my field, so I don't know quite what I'm looking for.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/06/2012 5:41 PM

Bunding or bund is not a term we use here in the states, but thanks for the new terminology. The term we use is secondary containment which besides a double hull, can be made out of a whole host of materials to protect against spills. As part of my job I've run numerious tanks farms in Pennsylvania, Arizonia, Califorina, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. I'm forced to be up-to-date on all the regulations, standards, and codes.

I really don't have a lot of use for the EU version but it's interesting to see what's similar and what's different.

Thanks for the info.

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/07/2012 7:21 AM

Glad the info was interesting. Just sharing what little I know in the hope it gives someone a little direction.

I should have been clearer in that I was directing it to the OP, since he doesn't appear to have a fixed set of codes where he is yet (if I read his posts correctly).

Clarification: When I said sealed, I only meant bottom and sides - the area can be open at the top. Bunding usually takes the form of a low wall around a liquid carrying tank that has leakage proof surface on the inside. This is certainly done around standalone fuel tanks.

As ever, if the reader needs to be putting something like in, they should be checking their own local codes and talking to their local inspectors. My comments are not "official".

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#3

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/05/2012 10:43 PM

See this interesting site for Spacing (Shell-to-Shell) Between Aboveground Tanks : https://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/5590.html

And for more information refer to American code NFPA.

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#14
In reply to #3

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/09/2012 5:53 PM

I'm surprised CA can gets away with that ruling since NFPA min is 5 ft. Unless all said tanks are in secondary containment then it's 3 ft.

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#6

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/06/2012 3:36 AM

If you get permission to reduce the spacing from your local planners and inspectors, you insurance company may not want to provide cover, or it will charge an excessive premium. They calculate risk based on known parameters. If you change those parameters insurance companies will see it as a green light to make more money, not pay out in the event of a problem, or both. If you do not believe that, you are not living on the same planet as the rest of us.

Buying some additional adjacent land and installing tanks at the relevant standard spacing may be the most cost effective medium to long term option.

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#11
In reply to #6

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/06/2012 8:51 PM

I think I read somewhere that if the tanks are provided with sprinklers for tank cooling and with fixed foam system for fire suppresson then we can reduce the tank spacing as specified in NFPA 30. Can anybody here confirm this?

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Petroleum Storage Tank Spacing

03/07/2012 5:04 AM

NFPA 30 has no reduction for sprinklers or tank cooling systems.

To determine the spacing looking up NFPA 30 Table 4.3.2.2.1 at the end of Chapter 4 if you need a copy of NFPA 30 go on NFPA web site and order it. They'll be more than happy to take your money.

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Abdel Halim Galala (1); bakerjohn (4); brich (1); English Rose (4); jhhassociates (1); KJK/USA (1); Lolo Jack (2)

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