Case Study

Corrosion and Fire Protection for buried LNG tanks at Krefeld Rhine Harbour

High performance corrosion protection of buried liquefied gas tanks.

Krefeld Rhine Harbour Tank

Caratgas GmbH, Wuppertal (a subsidiary of the Westfalen Group, Münster) has constructed a new tank farm for the storage and trans-shipment of liquified propane and butane, at Krefeld Rhine harbour.  As with all chemical storage tanks, the external surfaces need to be protected against corrosion.

Storing liquified gas in underground tanks provides the best protection against external thermal influences. However, without adequate protection of the external tank walls from corrosion with a coating, there is a risk of damage to the environment from leaks of the water-pollution stored liquids, after only a few years. 


Specialists from Sika Germany GmbH (now Sherwin-Williams Protective and Marine Coatings) worked with the fabricator, the Barlage company in Haselünne-Flechum, and the coating contractor, ib Industrielle Beschichtung GmbH, Schwedt/ Ode, to ensure long-term anti-corrosion protection of five storage tanks external walls. Two construction phases were planned due to the large size of the tanks (diameter of 6.20 metres and a length of up to 67.80 metres) and the tight time window for steel construction fabrication, and the application of the corrosion protection coating, whilst planning for the heavy-duty river transportation of the tanks. 

As the installation of these underground tanks required corrosion protection that is both permanently safe and environmentally compatible, a 2-K epoxy coating, Sika® Permacor®-2107 HS (future name Dura-Plate® 2107 HS) was chosen.  This coating material has provided excellent protection of buried tanks for many decades and fulfills the requirements for the safety-relevant corrosion protection of these tanks. This product has good mechanical, abrasion, shock, and impact, resistance. As part of the external insulation of underground liquefied gas pressure vessels, it has also been tested in accordance with DIN 4681-3 and DIN EN 12542 respectively, and monitored by Kiwa, a European institution for testing, inspection, and certification.

The specification for the tanks called for blasting to Sa 2 ½ according to DIN EN ISO 12944-4, before hot spraying the epoxy in RAL-7009 gray. For buried pressure vessels, DIN 4681 prescribes a minimum dry film thickness of 1,000 microns, which can be achieved in a single operation. 

For the inside of the access shaft of these tanks, where the necessary piping and fittings are located, a preventive fire protection coating, Sika® Unitherm® Platinum (future name FIRETEX® Platinum), was specified. This solvent-free, 2-component epoxy fire protection coating forms a heat-insulating layer under the influence of heat, thus increasing the fire resistance (R30 - R120) of steel components. The “Platinum” technology offers both fire and corrosion protection up to C5, in accordance with DIN EN ISO 12944-6.


The contractor, ib Industrielle Beschichtung GmbH has specialised in the processing of our epoxy resin hot-spray products for 25 years, and has special know-how and equipment to be able to carry out an order of this magnitude", explained Frank Kallenbach, Key Account Manager Tank Protection and Chemistry at Sika Deutschland GmbH. 

"The schedule was very tight, so we used two coating crews with two of our hot spray machines at the same time," explained Benjamin Avdusinovic, Managing Director of IB Schwedt.  In total the team successfully protected an area of around 4,000 square metres. 

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