Rope access has made quick work of a major tank inspection and cleaning project for a large South African petrochemical producer. Skyriders Access Specialists (Pty) Ltd. deployed a ten-person team for the 18-day project, with the tank itself measuring 46 m in diameter and 15 m high.
Completed in late May, the project forms part of the petrochemical producer’s ongoing maintenance cycle, which sees its storage tanks emptied, cleaned, and inspected, whereafter any maintenance necessary is carried out. In this instance, the tank in question was shut down for statutory inspection and maintenance, according to Skyriders Marketing Manager Mike Zinn.
Rope access was the ideal solution, as it allowed rope access technicians with confined-space experience to move along the roof beams and girders in order to mechanically clean the beams themselves and the sidewalls as quickly and as safely as possible. “The storage tank was found to be in good condition, so fortunately not much work beyond the cleaning itself was required,” Zinn explains.
Skyriders’ safety department provided a risk assessment and detailed methodology for the project. “We understand the dangers inherent in the petrochemical industry, and plan carefully around these, from the correct personal protective equipment to the expertise of our highly-trained staff,” Zinn concludes.