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EPT for Storage Tanks: Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Floating Roofs

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Picture of Anamika Talwaria

Anamika Talwaria

Editor & Head of Content for Tank Storage Magazine & StocExpo and Chair of Women in Tanks.

The experts at EPT discuss how its approach to GRP roofs reduces maintenance costs and minimises environmental risks


The development of EPT’s segment construction method for manufacturing non-metallic floating roofs represents a significant leap forward in the field of tank storage technology. This approach addresses several of the longstanding challenges faced in the construction and maintenance of large storage tanks, offering a host of advantages over traditional methods that rely heavily on hot works and extensive weather protection measures.

Prefabricated GRP tank roof segments arranged on supports on the tank bottom, before further finalisation

The replacement of an old steel roof with a new glass fiber reinforced polymer (GRP) floating roof equipped with advanced emissions reduction features marks a significant milestone. It promises to set new standards for efficiency, safety, and environmental responsibility for future.


Replacing Corroded Steel Floating Roofs

EPT worked on a tank roof project involving the replacement of an old, corroded external steel floating roof with a new, state-of-the-art GRP floating roof for a premium gasoline storage tank. This upgrade enhanced the tank’s structural integrity but also significantly reduced the risk of contamination, ensuring the stored gasoline remains at the highest quality. The successful implementation of this project at a large oil refinery in Germany serves as a vivid demonstration of the GRP floating roof’s potential to transform tank storage operations.

Notably, the use of prefabricated roof segments in the construction process drastically increases construction speed, enabling operators to expedite the commissioning of tanks. This efficiency gain is a crucial advantage, allowing for faster operational readiness of storage facilities and significantly reducing downtime, a factor that directly translates to economic benefits and enhanced competitiveness in the market. The entire project was accompanied and rigorously assessed by TÜV, the German technical inspection body. This partnership highlights EPT’s commitment to ensure the highest levels of quality and safety.


High-Quality Construction

This certification by TÜV reflects that GRP works demand highly specialised laminators and composite expertise to ensure the highest quality in construction. TÜV’s involvement and validation provides operators with added confidence in the structural integrity and environmental compliance of their storage facilities. The seamless construction of EPT’s GRP floating roofs eliminates the risks associated with welding fatigue and corrosion, offering a robust, non-metallic and lightweight solution that significantly extends the service life of storage tanks. The enhanced construction speed also proved valuable for building new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) storage tanks. The specially used GRP is non- corrosive and boasts a high lifespan, making it an ideal material for storing environmentally sensitive fuels.


Lifting of a GRP floating roof segment into the storage tank

Prefabricated Roof Segments

The cornerstone of EPT’s innovation is the prefabrication of individual roof segments in a controlled factory environment. This process not only slashes assembly times on site, but also ensures that each GRP segment meets the highest quality standards before arriving at the construction site. Unlike traditional methods, where the quality of work could be compromised by adverse weather, EPT’s approach guarantees consistency and excellence in every piece. The ability to store the segments until they are needed provides operators with further flexibility. EPT’s construction method is a solution that addresses many of the traditional challenges in tank storage construction and maintenance. The replacement of an old steel roof with a new GRP floating roof equipped with advanced emissions reduction features marks a significant milestone in tank storage technology, promising to set new standards for years to come.


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