Refurbishment of Vopak's top hat box

In Storage Tanksby Eveline Klomp

Mercon refurbished Vopak’s ‘Hat Box’ at terminal Laurenshaven in Rotterdam in July 2013.

‘Tank 2001’ is the technical name of this beautiful hand painted tank. The people working in the Rotterdam Botlek area, call this famous storage tank the Hat Box. It was painted by three Dutch artists for Pakhoed (‘hoed’ meaning ‘hat’ in Dutch). Pakhoed and Van Ommeren were the two merger partners from which Vopak originated in 1999.
This tank which stores oil has a special construction. The steel roof of this diameter 58m and cylindrical height 23.2m tank is supported by columns. These type of light weight constructions were regularly used in the past as it enabled a quick building process. At that time, future maintenance costs were not really a key driver in the design proces.

Vopak asked Mercon to refurbish tank 2001. Next to general maintenance activities, the bottom of tank 2001 needed to be replaced. This was quite a challenge as the columns that supported the roof were fixed onto the bottom plates. They needed to be carefully loosened and then jacked up ten centimeters so that the bottoms plates could be removed and new ones installed. The whole operation had to be done in a controlled manner. The tank pit had to be renovated and a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) layer was put underneath the new bottom. Furthermore all internal piping and pressure vacuum valves had to be demounted by Mercon and were revised.


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