Mitigating the Risk of Product Release at Storage Terminals

By OPW | Aug 13, 2020

There is risk inherent in almost any activity, from crossing the street to launching a multi-ton airplane into the sky. The key to safer operations is to identify the activity’s potential risks and then develop and implement the most effective ways to combat them.

OPW’s commitment to creating the safest fluid-transfer operations at storage terminals grows from its Defining What’s Next philosophy that ensures strong Environmental & Social Governance (ESG) operating principles. The pillars of this philosophy are Protecting People, Protecting the Environment and Enhancing Business Performance, all of which are addressed through the release-prevention technologies that its product brands have developed for use in fluid-storage terminals.

In the fluid storage terminal industry, hundreds of product-transfer activities that take place on any given day carry with them the built-in risk of a product release occurring. Product releases, especially if the fluid product is deemed dangerous or hazardous, cannot be tolerated in any form or volume because they can cause injury to those administering the transfer process, along with damage to our environment. Product releases are also detrimental to the product supplier’s bottom line – any fluid that finds its way to the ground rather than the inside of a railcar or tank truck cannot be sold. By extension, a storage terminal that is regularly the site for product spills will earn a reputation as one that cannot be trusted, which could lead to lost business.

Knowing the importance of attaining risk-free fluid transfer in storage terminals, OPW businesses have put much time and effort into developing products that reduce the risk of a product release during the loading of tank trucks and railcars. Here’s a closer look:

  • OPW Engineered Systems: Realizing that every loading terminal has its own unique design and operational needs, OPW Engineered Systems has created loading systems that can meet the requirements of most common site designs, as well as systems that are versatile enough to be fully customizable. Labeled its Total Terminal Solutions package, OPW offers complete lines of Terminal Loading Arms, API Couplers, Terminal Electronic Equipment, Terminal Accessories, Swivel Joints and Safety Breakaways, all of which are crafted to decrease the chance that a product release will occur during the fluid-transfer process.
  • Civacon: The CivaCommand Smart Tank System acts as a tank truck’s nucleus, which gives the operator complete visibility into all loading activities. Specific to reducing product releases, the CivaCommand system utilizes Smart Elbows that do not allow a fluid transfer to occur unless all connections are fully secure; nearly reducing the chance that a spill will occur. CivaCommand also incorporates advanced overfill prevention through real-time tank-monitoring diagnostics; this helps make accidental tank-overfill incidents a thing of the past.
  • Midland: For more than 60 years, Midland has engineered all of its railcar equipment and systems to enable the safe and efficient loading and unloading of hazardous and non-hazardous bulk fluids, from crude oil to anhydrous ammonia and LPG to chlorine. Midland offers complete lines of components for specific use on General PurposePressure and Pressure Differential railcars. And, should a product release occur due to an in-transit accident, Midland has developed Emergency Response Kits (ERK) that have been designed to allow for the quick and safe capping of leaking railcar fittings.

To learn more about how OPW’s products can help protect people and the environment, as well as enhance your business performance, contact an OPW sales representative today.