FAQ – Fuel Storage Tanks

1) What is a fuel storage tank?

A fuel storage tank is essentially a container that stores liquid fuel, such as diesel or petrol. Stationary fuel storage tanks are typically used at places where there are high demands for fuel, such as industrial sites, or in remote locations where supply is limited or too far away such as farms or road work sites.

2) What are the steps involved in designing a fuel storage tank?

The design of a fuel storage tank typically requires checking the strength and stability of the tank structure to withstand the load exerted from the stored fuel. The tank is also designed to withstand seismic and wind loading. These calculations and analyses are done in accordance with relevant standards and codes of practices.

Finite element analysis (FEA) modelling software such as ANSYS can be used to aid the calculations. FEA is used to verify the pressure test that the tank must undergo during physical testing for certification.

3) What are the legal requirements involved in designing a fuel storage tank?

Under the HSNO Act 1996, diesel and petrol are classed as hazardous substances. Design of a fuel storage tank needs to comply with the regulations set out by the HSNO Act 1996.

Based on the regulations and standards, a set of Codes of Practice (HSNOCOP) have been developed by the EPA, outlining the requirements that different categories of fuel tanks must meet.

Any stationary fuel storage tank over 1000L (or 2000L if located on a farm) must comply with HSNOCOP 24, which stipulates that the tank must be double skinned, as well as setting out requirements for signage, drainage, piping and exclusion zones.  

Under the new Health and Safety at Work Act, Worksafe are taking on responsibility for certification and enforcement of the regulations in the workplace, while the EPA are maintaining a larger focus on the environmental protection aspects of the act.

4) Who can certify a fuel storage tank?

Only a design test certifier can certify a Fuel storage tank, and issue a unique identification number for the specific tank design, for fuel storage tanks this takes the form of TNK #####.

However, the tank itself must be designed by or verified by a competent engineering professional.  

BVT can provide all the necessary compliance documentation to ensure a smooth and fast certification process for any size of fuel storage tank.  

Written by Arlen Yung and Alex Merino.