LPG & NGL Storage Infrastructure

LPG Bullet Tanks- A few things to consider before you buy.

Written by Greg Ezzell | Fri, Jan 13, 2012 @ 09:19 PM

Whether you are building a new bulk storage plant or adding storage for natural gas processing?  Upgrading your existing bulk plant storage capacity?  Purchasing a tank to modify for specific processing requirements?  Should you purchase a new or used LPG bullet tank? Here are a few things you should consider:

Safety factor is actually higher and better with older model bullet tanks:

Since the price and availability of steel has continued to increase over the years, the Federal Government has allowed tanks to be built with much thinner steel.   Thus we have seen the safety factor reduced from the original safety factor, 5 to 1, down to 4 to 1, and then again to 3.5 to 1 for brand new tanks.   Oolder tanks even the 200psig U68 and U69 code tanks are considerably thicker and produced to a higher safety factor than newer tanks.  This is one of the many reasons one considers buying a used LPG bullet tank versus a new one.  

National Board Certified

LPG bullet tanks with a National Board Number either on their Data Plate or stamped in the tank head can have the manufacturer paperwork obtained, referred to as the U1A Data report, this is basically a birth certificate of the tank detailing the material used, original openings, manufacturer , inspectors, dates, pressure test, certifications, and so on.  These tanks are able to be placed back into service in most states and other countries due to their ability to have paperwork produced which can verify all of the original manufacturer specifications.

Environmental Consciousness

With natural resources being of concern to all of us, we are reminded of our responsibility to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible.  Purchasing a used LPG bullet tank versus a new tank will not only save you money, it is also a very large form of recycling and being enironmentally responsible as the steel is reused without exhausting the energy required to lift, transport, purge out all vapors, cut up, melt, and many times to ship the steel out of the country only to be sent back over to the US using more energy. 

Availabilty and cost of freight

Often times ordering a new LPG bullet tank requires planning and a waiting period of several weeks or months for the tank to be built and delivered.  And what has become common practice recently has been that the final price of the tanks is really unknown until the manufacturer has finished building the tank and a steel "Surcharge" has been placed on top of the tank price- this surcharge is often several thousands of dollars.  The location the new tank is shipped from may not be conveniently located to your plant location which can increase your cost even further as freight costs can be very high.  With a little research and due diligence you can find a quality used LPG bullet tank near your plant site, buy it immediately and save thousands on freight costs, due to its proximity to your site.

More value for your dollar

For anyone who has priced a new LPG bullet tank recently, the savings are well known, not to mention the amount of time you will spend waiting for a new tank to be manufactured for your project.  Brand new LPG bullet tanks can cost as much as 50% to 100% more than used LPG bullets tanks- this should be repeated "50% to 100% more than used tanks!"  These percentages can even grow during times of steel price increases.

How can you determine the proper amount of storage for your project

A qualified engineer, Industrial LPG /SNG Contractor will be able to determine the space and distance requirement needed for the size and quantity of LPG bullet tanks required for any project.   As well as the number of tanks that are allowed to be in a group and the distance required between the groups of LPG bullet tanks.