Réservoir de stockage de l’ammoniac à double paroi
Turnkey design and construction of a double walled ammonia storage tank (incl. civil works, piping, instrumentation, E&I) and facilities for ship unloading and railcar loading
Key facts & figures
Product: Refrigerated liquid ammonia
Capacity: 14,700 m³
Material: Carbon steel
The construction of the entire tank was completed in less than a year
Liquid ammonia tank terminal in Bulgaria adds 14,700 m³ of storage capacity and ensures Agropolychim’s production for global export

Agropolychim, a leading Bulgarian producer of nitrate and phosphate fertilizers for global export, has awarded Geldof an EPC contract for the construction of a liquid ammonia storage terminal. The project provides Agropolychim with an alternative source of ammonia supplies from foreign markets and ensures continuity of production. To implement the terminal Geldof constructed an installation for the storage and handling of refrigerated ammonia with an effective capacity of 14,700 m³ at the Agropolychim site in Varna, the largest Bulgarian harbor on the Black Sea.

Unique combination of know-how and expertise

Agropolychim was looking for a single point of contact for the implementation of the project. “We offered our services as the main contractor and a one-stop-shop and were able to convince the client that our offer and approach were the best match for their project,” says Dirk Vaeyens, Project Director Storage Tanks at Geldof. “What turned the scale was our unique combination of know-how and expertise in the construction of storage tanks and our relationship with ammonia handling and processing experts.”

Geldof was awarded an EPC contract for the construction of a storage tank for refrigerated liquid ammonia and the construction of an installation providing facilities for unloading ships and loading railcars. The scope included the engineering, procurement, production and installation of the full process plant.

“We have designed and built cryogenic storage tanks before,” Vaeyens continues. “In the past, we have completed several similar projects, providing us with great know-how and experience in the construction of cryogenic storage tanks and making it one of Geldof’s areas of expertise.”

For Agropolychim it was important to be closely involved in the project. Geldof also strongly believes in interaction between its team and the client, so the company carried out the project with a high level of involvement of Agropolychim.

Construction of 14,700 m³ storage tank in less than a year

The project has two phases. During the first phase, the tank was fully constructed, including civil works and foundations, engineering and construction, insulation and painting. The second phase, involved installing all the processing systems, i.e. piping, equipment, compressors, heat exchangers, pumps, scrubbers, marine loading arm, piping to the jetty, etc. Once the second phase was completed, the tank terminal was fully operational and allows liquid ammonia to be unloaded from ships, loaded onto railcars and processed on-site.

Dirk Vaeyens: “The project has been finalized. We managed to construct the tank in less than a year thanks to our good planning and creative thinking. For example, the initial phase was carefully prepared, with fully detailed engineering. As a result, the civil works and base foam glass insulation were executed smoothly and efficiently. On 1 May 2013 we started the construction of the tank, which only took about five months to complete. The painting and the final insulation works were finalized in the following two months. The entire construction went as planned and the tank was completely finished before the winter period started in Bulgaria, which was the client’s initial goal.”

Vaeyens continues: “Together with the good planning and smooth execution, it also took some creative thinking on our side to enable us to move faster on the construction of the tank. Therefore, while we constructed the tank shell we simultaneously constructed the dome and suspended roof next to the tank on-site. When the shell and roof were finished we lifted the roof into the right position in one lift. Thanks to this way of working, we gained a lot of time in the construction process. In the meantime, all the preparations were in place to kick off phase two and finalize the terminal.”

Integrated project management with local content

As in every project, Geldof strives to complement its own expertise with the experience that local players may be able to offer. In this case, for example, the company worked with local players for the secondary steel structures, painting, adding insulation, and so on. “Nevertheless, we made sure that we have our own people present on-site at all times to keep track of the progress and quality of the project,” adds Vaeyens. “Also, all activities that fall under our areas of expertise, such as the construction of the tank, were done exclusively by our own team. The end of 2012 we set up our own subsidiary – Engicon spółka z o.o. – based on years of collaboration with our Polish team. Customers can fully rely on us for the execution of projects in Eastern Europe with the necessary know-how and expertise, and according to the required quality and safety standards.”

“Bulgaria was a fairly new market for us, but we could call on our vast experience in project management and execution in international markets and different countries. Single points of contact were appointed for each partner, which simplifies communication and ensures an efficient way of working. If necessary, we could always count on the help and assistance of our client during the project. The relationship with this new client is positive and constructive as there is a high level of involvement and mutual confidence,” concludes Dirk Vaeyens.