Large Shopping Centre Tank Removal

For this project we were approached by a principle contractor following the dismissal, by them, of another contractor. The situation found 6 x 13,000 litre heating oil tanks situated in a basement tank room, directly beneath a number of large city centre retail stores and offices. The tanks has previously held heavy fuel oil, but had been drained and refilled with gas oil approximately 10 years prior. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the tanks had been drained of residual oil and an access hatch cut into the side, however they had not been cleaned internally.

Oil tank access

Oil Tanks left with access hatches but not cleaned

One of the major obstacles with this project was to ensure that no fumes or smoke were allowed to escape and travel into the buildings above, as both retail and office space were in close proximity. The presence of heavy fuel oil residue made these tanks particularly difficult to clean to an acceptable standard to ensure a clean cut.

Whilst the tanks were being cleaned, our team began the task of creating a suitable extraction system, utilising the buildings exhaust system for the removal of traffic fumes in the basement area. Following our initial survey, we managed to identify the most suitable point for extraction to minimise the impact on the other users of the basement.

Fume extraction

Once the tanks were cleaned and gas free certificates issued, we were able to erect a temporary enclosure over the main access door, with our extractor removing fumes from that point. Numerous small holes in the tank room wall were sealed, and the access door at the rear of the tank room opened in order to draw fresh air into the room. At this point a hot works permit was obtained and the tanks cut into sections.

Hot cutting of tanks

Over the course of the next three days, the tanks were successfully cut into sections and removed onto four pallets from the tank room. No incidences of smoke escape were recorded during the works, resulting in zero downtime for the surrounding offices and shops. Our lorry mounted crane was parked in the basement for the duration of the works, thus allowing each tank to be loaded and disposed of as it left the tank room.

Each tank was cut into 24 pieces

Upon completion of the work, our client was issued with a hazardous waste consignment note for all arising waste from the tank cleaning process, along with a duty of care note for the scrap metal waste. A certificate of decommissioning for the tanks completes the paper trail, thus enabling our client to trace the waste leaving their site.

If you would like any information on our oil tank removal services, please do not hesitate to call 01132635163 or email info@jwhtanks.co.uk for details.