Eco-friendly installation of diesel tanks in South Africa

Diesel tank installation regulations to consider

It’s essential for all companies in the petrochemical industry, especially those that have diesel tanks on the premises, to know the environmental regulations set out in the Environmental Management Act, No 107 of 1998. If you are looking for a diesel tank installation company, they must check all the boxes required by the act.

  1. The act requires all companies an environmental-impact assessment (EIA) is performed before aboveground or underground diesel tanks are installed.
  2. An example a change in the act is that aboveground and underground tanks all require authorisation no matter the storage size of the diesel tank. Previously, tanks with a capacity of 100m3 in industrial areas, and up to 50m3 didn’t require authorisation to store dangerous goods such as diesel fuel.
  3. An environmental management plan is also needed for the decommissioning of diesel tanks to ensure the safe removal and pollution prevention.
  4. Oil spills are devastating to the environment. On rural land, oil spills prevent the soil’s ability to absorb water. Oil spills on agricultural areas kill off plant life. In urban environments, response strategies from diesel tank spills encompass, emphasizing protecting human health and restoring usability. Therefore, environmental and financial risk has to be taken into account before an EIA is passed to allow a company to install aboveground or underground diesel tanks of 5000 litres or more.
  5. Aboveground tanks need to have a bund, (a surrounding wall that can contain at least one-third of the tank’s contents).
  6. As part of diesel tank maintenance, companies need to hire engineering experts to inspect tank valves, flanges and pumps to ensure that there are no leaks.
  7. Underground tanks must be placed in a contained hole that has been sealed with concrete. The space around the tank is filled with an immovable material to prevent chemicals from leaking into the earth.

The act also stipulates that a tank is required to be:

  • chemically compatible with the hazardous substance being stored in it.
  • protected from, or resistant to, all forms of internal and external wear.
  • be vibration, shock and corrosion-resistant.
  • have a stable foundation or support structure suitable for all operating conditions.
  • be protected from fire, heat, vacuum and pressure, which might cause tank failure.
  • be sized to align with storage requirements.

If companies ensure that they hire diesel tank installers that follow the Environmental Management Act, it will go a long way to promoting ‘green sites’ in South Africa.

Environmental impact of oil spills

Oil spills can affect many aspects of the environment. For example, marine diesel has a much higher density than diesel fuel affects several organism functions such as thermoregulation, respiration and feeding.

Did you know that incorrect installation of oil spills from diesel tanks have the potential to pollute soil and groundwater due to leakage? One drop per second can release over 1500 litres of fuel into the groundwater over one year (if there is no secondary containment.)

In urban environments, response strategies from diesel tank spills encompass, emphasising protecting human health and restoring usability. Therefore, an oil spill must be cleaned up quickly. Our sister company, Bevlon, offers this service.

Importance of correct diesel tank installation

Unlike marine diesel oil, diesel fuel is a ‘light oil’, which is extremely flammable. This is a major concern for companies that keep diesel storage tanks on-site, which reiterates the need for the expert installation of the tanks.

How to go green

It all starts with promoting environmental awareness through following best diesel tank installation practices.

The value of having a green site goes much further than you may think. Have you considered the following?

Cost-saving benefits: Petrochemical companies can save a lot of money in the long term through the correct installation of diesel tanks. One that can also offer maintenance service of aboveground and underground diesel tanks is very beneficial.

Brand and reputation: People who are’ pro-green’ will more than likely boycott using any diesel fuel from petrochemical companies who do not adhere to eco-friendly diesel tank installation practices. This can cause a brand to lose its reputation and consequently lead to significant financial issues. 

Customer attraction: Conversely, companies that embrace diesel tank installation and maintenance practices will attract the public’s attention and potentially boost revenue significantly.

Bevlon specialises in the cleaning of diesel fuel tanks. It’s crucial because if tanks aren’t cleaned properly, they accumulate dirt, dust and grease. Professional cleaning of diesel tanks prolongs fuel storage life and prevents damage.

If companies ensure that they hire diesel tank installers that follow the Environmental Management Act, it will go a long way to promoting ‘green sites’ in South Africa.