Work is underway in Ireland as The Linde Group’s BOC gets to grips an upgrade project, for two of its cryogenic storage tanks containing liquid nitrogen.

BOC, as part of The Linde Group, is the largest supplier of gases and related products and services in the Republic of Ireland and the cryogenic tanks are primarily in use for bulk nitrogen supply to hospitals, and the pharmaceutical and electronics industries.

The UK's Leeds-based Energy Services and Solutions (ESS) has been working on the project for BOC in Cork, to upgrade the integrity of the two 300 tonne capacity cryogenic storage tanks, according to European chemical engineer magazine

The revalidation of these types of cryogenic tank, storing liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196°C, is undertaken primarily to ensure they remain in a fit condition and safe to be used for continued storage.

The stored liquid nitrogen is used in hospitals for the preservation of clinical samples of tissue and cells at low temperatures and must be maintained at a temperature of -196˚C.

Best engineering practice
The upgrade represents the key safety practice adhered to by BOC and Paul Waters, Operations Manager of BOC Ireland, explains the scope of work undertaken, “The revalidation process adopts policy and codes of best engineering practice that are currently available.$quot;

$quot;It was as a result of this exercise that the various pipework modifications and programme of other works carried out by ESS, including full repainting of both tanks, were undertaken.$quot;

ESS Operations Manager, Dennis Habergham, commented, “ESS has worked as part of the in-house team for BOC on a number of successive occasions. We are pleased to have consistently demonstrated the level of technical expertise that has resulted in the confidence BOC have placed in our company. In managing the project we co-ordinated the input of a wide range of contractors and a large multi-discipline engineering team to deliver the project on budget, within the timescales acceptable to the client and without affecting production of the plant.”

During revalidation, the past operational service life of the tank is reviewed and compared to the working conditions used for the original design calculations prior to construction. The process involves a series of inspection and testing procedures of both the tank and its safety protection mechanisms.