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Managing Underside Fuel Tank Corrosion in Accordance with New DIO Guidelines

Matt Graystone, national account manager – defence at Adler and Allan, provides a checklist to help managers of defence estates comply with new guidance from the UK’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) on underside fuel tank corrosion.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has released new guidance for the management and maintenance of rectangular single-skin or double-skin integrally bunded metallic tanks storing fuel across the defence estate.

Your fuel storage tanks may need to be replaced or repositioned

  • Any fuel storage tank that can’t be visually inspected underneath is required to be replaced or repositioned on minimum 300mm skids.
  • The guidance applies to all UK and USVF sites and is required to ensure compliance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001.
  • All work should be carried out in accordance with chapter 2 of Management of health and safety in defence: high risk activities on the defence estate (JSP 375, volume 3).

Failure of a fuel storage tank could release product into the environment

  • Failure on a single-skin fuel storage tank would lead to the immediate release of product into the environment.
  • On double-skin fuel storage tanks, corrosion may go unnoticed and lead to failure of the secondary tank skin that could lead to product entering the environment.
  • Helping you comply and extend the life of your fuel storage tanks

Consider consulting environmental protection companies as they will typically be able to undertake all the civils and infrastructure work to extend the life of your fuel storage tanks and ensure they remain compliant, including:

  • Inspecting the fuel storage tank and perform non-destructive testing
  • Uplifting the fuel and empty the storage tank
  • Lifting the fuel storage tank
  • Building skids to elevate the fuel storage tank to minimum 300mm as per Technical Standard – Petroleum – 04
  • Performing any repairs to the underside of the fuel storage tank
  • Replacing the storage tank and fuel

Cost of repositioning your fuel storage tank vs reacting to a tank failure

The upfront cost of repositioning your fuel storage tank will be significantly lower than the costs associated with a tank failure.

  • Repositioning your fuel storage tank
  • Dealing with a tank failure
  • NDT tank inspection

Contaminated land remediation removal and disposal

  • Fuel uplift
  • Tank replacement
  • Potential crane hire and operation to lift tank
  • Operational downtime
  • Cost for civils to build minimum 300mm skids and any remediation to the tank
  • Reputation damage
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Matt Graystone

Matt Graystone is national account manager for defence at UK environmental consultancy, Adler and Allan.

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