STI/SPFA's Annual Product Awards recognize steel construction products and achievements by member companies. These projects demonstrate the positive qualities and flexibility of steel as the production material of choice for applications in the petroleum, chemical, agricultural and water infrastructure industries.
Steel's design flexibility, strength and durability are on display as we acknowledge the best products in field erected, steel pipe and pipeline, pressure vessel and special fabrication categories. As with any "best of the best" contest, it's difficult to select just one winner. Click here to see all the expert entries.
Product /Project Title:
Ammonia Tank - Dakota Gasification
Dakota Gasification/Burns & McDonnell
Overall Height or Length:
Steel Tonnage Used:
Steel Thickness (inches):
5/16" - 2"
Dakota Gasification’s Great Plains Synfuels plant is the only commercial-scale coal gasification facility in the United States that manufactures natural gas. Rated as the cleanest energy producing plant (based on stack emissions) in North Dakota, the synfuels plant uses anhydrous ammonia as the reagent for its groundbreaking scrubbing system.
Anhydrous ammonia is key to the plant’s processes and the range of co-products the synfuels operation produces. In 2012, Dakota Gas was ready to expand anhydrous ammonia storage in Beulah. The design, fabrication and construction of the 30,000 ton ammonia storage tank presented a number of challenges – including potentially frigid temperatures in the forbidding North Dakota winter. The vast size of the storage tank, pressure requirements, temperature requirements and aesthetic requirements all promised a challenging project.
Working with a skilled Engineer, Procure, Construct team, the tank contractor developed tank and foundation designs that would address the specific operational needs for the tank, the unique criteria for storing anhydrous ammonia, and the related environmental and safety concerns. The design process took several months and included dozens of drawings as the tank contractor, project engineers and EPC contractor worked together to finalize the design and construction plans.
The tank is built on a slab foundation, with a base heating system. The heating system prevents the soil under the foundation from freezing, and guards against damage to the slab from the extreme cold. In addition to the heating system, the tank contractor installed foam glass insulation between the tank bottom and the slab; this protects the slab from the very cold operating temperature of the tank itself.
The 170’ diameter single containment tank was designed and fabricated per API 620 Appendix R and API 625. The material is A-516 60 and A-516 70 carbon steel, with a 1/8” corrosion allowance. The tank weighs approximately 1000 tons empty; with 11 million gallons of product inside, it weighs in at nearly 93 million pounds.
In addition to the tank’s 685 tons of steel, an extensive insulation system was required to maintain the very cold -28 degrees Fahrenheit operating temperature. The insulation was installed on the tank’s exterior after the exterior coating system was applied. The specially designed wild lap roof was constructed, painted and insulated on the ground inside the tank and air raised into place. Once the roof was in place, the tank’s exterior insulation and the roof insulation were connected and sealed.
The single containment tank system includes a vapor recovery system and an earthen dike around the tank foundation to ensure that all potential vapor emissions and liquid leakage will be fully contained.
The result is a mammoth tank, capable of holding over 11 million gallons of anhydrous ammonia, that will safely serve the customer’s multi-product clean power system and the surrounding communities for decades to come.
Point Thomson Project – Diesel Tank Modules
Point Thomson, AK
(4) 48’ –0” ; (1) 20’ -0”
(4) 48’ –0” ; (1) 12’ -0”
(4) 650,000 Each; (1) 17,000
(4) 129 Tons Each: (1) 15 Tons
Shell – (4) 0.399”; (1) 0.3125”
This project involved a total of five API 650 tanks field built on two modules that were set on separate barges and transported nearly 3,800 miles to their final location in the Northern Prudhoe Bay region of Alaska called Point Thomson about 60 miles east of Deadhorse. Complex, detailed planning and logistics were required to complete this project.
The picture shows a 706 ton module which includes a process building, two larger tanks and a smaller tank as it departs the Pacific Northwest module assembly yard in Washington state. The second module (545 ton) was barged in a similar fashion shortly thereafter.
The four large tanks are 48’ Ø x 48’ tall Appendix I column supported field erected cone roof tanks that store diesel and are large tanks to be transported after completion. The larger tanks were built in place at the module assembly yard on fabricated steel structural supports. The smaller 12’ Ø x 20’ tall Appendix J & F self-supported cone roof shop built methanol tank was shop fabricated and trucked to the module assembly yard for installation on one of the modules.
Once the modules were completed, they were moved about a hundred yards from the module assembly site onto separate barges for ocean transport through the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to its Alaska North Slope destination for off-loading and final setting at the Point Thomson facility.
The design used high quality carbon steel (A516-70 normalized w/Charpy impacts of 30 ft-lbs @ -50 deg F) per API 650. It was a reasonable technical and economic choice as it provided a material that could withstand the harsh arctic climate, transportation and operational conditions. To accommodate these design conditions, a thickened bottom was utilized to provide and minimize the structural support needed for the tank to be installed, transported and operated on a structural grillage type module frame. Other design and engineering features included special welding procedures, an annular bottom plate, arctic white paint, additional nondestructive examination as well as rigorous material control activities.
Natrium Processing Facility
Caiman Energy / Blue Racer Midstream
Marshall County, WV
(1) 81'-10 (3) 60'-6
1.416" to 1.915"
These (4) large Spheres were designed and built to the strict requirements of the ASME, Section VIII, Division 2 Standard to hold 110,600 BBLS of Propane, Butane and Natural Gas Liquid under extreme pressure.
The largest Sphere holds 50,000 BBLS of Propane at 250 psig in an 81'-10 sphere. The Sphere has an unusually high design pressure that requires that all welds be 100% Ultrasonic Tested(UT) for quality. Also due to the high pressure, the plates were designed to be very thick (the thickest plate was 1.918") and required that the Sphere be field Post Weld Heat Treated (PWHT) by holding the entire sphere at 1,195 degrees F for 2 hours. Before being placed into service, the Propane Sphere was then successfully hydro tested under pressure to 358 psig.
The three other spheres were all 60'-6 in diameter with the (2) Butane spheres designed for 110 psig and the Natural Gas Liquid sphere designed for 250 psig.
The Scope of Work for all of the spheres included the design of the foundation, as well as the design and installation of the support columns including their fire proofing, a full multi ring deluge fire protection spray system, a galvanized stairway and field paint of the finished product.
These Spheres used 4,150,000 pounds of steel plate and demonstrate the capability and flexibility of steel to store products at very high pressures making steel - the material of choice!
1.5 MMG Elevated Water Tank
New Jersey American Water Co.
Egg Harbor Twsp, NJ
2.25 thru 0.25"
This 1,500,000 Gallon Fluted Column style elevated water storage tank was constructed on a unique Design - Build basis between 2010 and 2013.
The Tank Contractor was responsible for not only designing the tank, but hiring a consulting engineering firm partner to establish the operating parameters, determine the FAA and local site requirements, and then obtain State and Township permits. Once the year long design and permitting phase was completed, on site construction began.
Due to the timing of the permits, the 950,000 pounds of carbon steel was erected during the coastal winter weather demonstrating the construct ability of steel in all types of weather. Painting of the tank with high performance coatings then took place in the Spring of 2013, including a full field blast and paint of the interior wet area.
The lower column of the tank included a steel condensate ceiling, heaters, and an application of spray-on insulation to ensure a warm working environment for the owner's personnel.
Bridge District Water Storage Facility and Park Project
The City of West Sacramento
West Sacramento, CA
3.3 MG Tank
3/16" ,1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 9/16", & 11/16"
This 3.3 MG was planned and designed to meet the needs of the expanding developments around the "Bridge District" of West Sacramento, CA.
This tank is designed to be a green structure with the storage tank designed to accommodate future solar power system installation, including 1,104 solar panel brackets installed during initial tank construction.
The tank was located in a park zone of a new residential development resulted in an architecturally unique specialty lighting scheme developed from community input with colors to match those used in the new subdivision.
Steel was selected as the material of choice even with the following extra cost factors included:
1. Full containment during blasting and painting operations due to proximity of residential neighborhood.
2. The exterior of the tank was coated with High Performance Coatings (Urethane Gloss Enamel) to assist with the specialty lighting scheme.
There were 500 tons of steel used in the tank and the foundation. The tank was designed per section 14 of AWWA. The owner required 1/8" corrosion allowance due to the location of the tank and the marine environment. The roof plate was designed at a thickness of 5/16", which increased the size of the roof structure and supports.
The combination of architectural features, painting scheme and nighttime lighting have, created a new local landmark.
E & J Gallo Eastside Winery Expansion
E & J Gallo
39' - 1" Diameter
5.6 MG of Capacity
Design, fabricate and field erect (16) 350,000 gallon light gage stainless steel wine storage tanks with dimple style refrigeration jackets.
Due to the short construction schedule required to meet project requirements, the tanks were erected in the field using panelized construction. Providing over 5,600,000 gallons of additional storage capacity, these 16 tanks required over 20,000 parts and pieces totaling more than 1,040,000 pounds of stainless steel.
To meet the rigid customer specifications, achieve the performance requirements on the refrigeration jackets, and accommodate the butterfly foundations, this project required our company to develop new fabrication, erection and welding techniques
City of Fall River Water Tank Replacement
Watuppa Water Board, Fall River, Massachusetts
Fall River, MA
.838" to .3125"
In the heart of a Fall River, MA, neighborhood stands a new 1,116,200 gallon standpipe. The 50’ x 76’ AWWA D-100 Chicago Street Water Tank replaced an aging, water tank with lead coatings and was constructed right in the middle of a quiet residential area. The tank’s sensitive location created several challenges related to construction, and its proximity to Mount Hope Bay demanded high wind tolerance and exceptionally durable coatings.
The water board worked with a local engineer to develop a plan for safe demolition of the existing tank and a local subcontractor provided site work and the foundation for the new tank. The tank contractor worked with the engineer to address the community’s concerns about construction traffic, equipment, noise, environmental issues and overall safety.
The construction plan included careful scheduling and arrangements for materials delivery and lay down, and strategic placement of a large crane for setting the tank’s Knuckle Umbrella Roof in place. The tank contractor worked with an expert paint contractor to ensure that the surrounding homes and property would not be damaged in the process of applying the exterior paint to the tank.
Because of the location near Mount Hope Bay, the tank was designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 150 miles per hour, and features thicker steel in the tank’s shell, a wind girder about 2/3 of the way up the tank, and an extensive system of anchor chairs. The tank contractor fabricated and installed a full 360 degree handrail as well as safety climbs on the tank. A mixing system installed in the tank ensures that the water is properly aerated and is kept in motion to prevent freezing.
The coating system on the tank is key to the tank’s appearance and to its long term performance and value. A three-coat potable water-safe zinc epoxy primer was applied to the tank’s interior for long-term performance. The exterior received a four-coat, 20 year high performance paint system, especially designed for long-term gloss and recommended for coastal locations. The tank’s knuckle umbrella roof design minimizes potential corrosion points, contributing to the performance of the coatings system and supporting a lower total cost of ownership for the tank.
To protect the surrounding residential area, the painting contractor installed an extensive containment system. Brackets were welded to the top of the tank, with a system of cables running from the top to the bottom of the tank. Specially designed fabric tarps were hung from the cable system to enclose the entire tank during sand blasting and painting. The containment system could be raised during blasting and painting activity, and lowered at night to minimize the risk of wind damage to the system or to surrounding homes.
The end result is a beautiful welded steel water storage tank. The Chicago Street Water Tank is the highest landmark in the surrounding area, and it will serve the community safely and economically for decades to come.
11’ x 13’ x 197’ Demethanizer and Cold Separator
15’ -9” x 197’-0”
11’ -0” x 13’ -0”
304 Stainless: 1.43” ; SA 537 – Class 2: 3.12”
The dual purpose Demethanizer/Cold Separator, standing nearly 198’, and weighing in at just over 261 tons, represents manufacturing at its finest. Manufactured for cryogenic service, the upper vessel is 155’ fabricated from 304 stainless steel, in thicknesses up to 1.43”, and designed for 350 PSI and -200°F. The intermediate cone transforms the internal diameter of the vessel from 156” to 108” in just six feet of length. Incorporated are six manways and 27 nozzles ranging from 1.5” to 24”. Attached to the base of this already monumental vessel, is a 114” internal diameter, 24’ Cold Separator. Designed for pressure of 1100 PSI and -75°F, it is fabricated from 3.12” ASME 537 CL2 carbon steel and heat treated at 1050°F for 3 hours.
Portable Asphalt Rubber Blending Plant
7’ -4” (Reaction Tank)
5,200 (Reaction Tank)
This trailer is a 15 tons per hour portable asphalt rubber blending plant designed to take processed crumb rubber and blend it with super-heated liquid asphalt. The processed crumb rubber comes from the millions of used tires that are replaced with new tires on our automobiles and other vehicles. After the blending is complete, the liquid asphalt with melted crumb rubber is metered into a Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) facility. The liquid is blended with heated stone at the HMA facility to make the asphalt that is used on our roads. When specified and in operation, there are approximately 2,000 used tires for every mile of asphalt road paved. The system includes a 2.0 MM Btu Hot Oil Heater, Heat Exchanger, Crumb Rubber Hopper with Feed Augers, Blending Tank with 75 HP Turbine Mixer, 5000 Gallon Coiled 2 Compartment Reaction Tank with Mixing Auger, two Process Pumps, Metering Skid, Control Room, Plant Controls, and all of the interconnecting process plumbing. All of the equipment is mounted on a 45’ long trailer.
Influent Equalization Reservoir No. 1; Roof Removal and Walkway Installation
Desert Water Agency
Palm Springs, CA
1/4", 3/8", & 1/2"
Desert Water Agency processes secondary effluent from the Palm Springs Waste Water Treatment Plant into recycled effluent water that is used at all the public golf courses in Palm Springs.
During normal operations, the influent reservoirs collect several inches of sediment on the reservoir floors. This can create turbidity spikes requiring more chemical dosage during the filtration process, and can clog the filters much faster than normal, preventing the Agency from producing the recycled effluent water for its customers. Influent Reservoir No. 1 was not designed for annual floor cleaning.
The Agency had considered demolishing their existing steel reservoir and replacing with concrete reservoir. Once they evaluated the cost they decided to save their existing steel reservoir and remove the roof to install a new cleaning system that will save water, reduce the amount of chemical dosing, and get the reclaimed water out to the end user in a timely fashion.
The walkway's and handrail were fabricated complete in our fabrication facility with galvanized structural steel and anodized aluminum handrail. There was a total of 800 feet of aluminum pipe that was welded together and anodized. The Walkway's were then delivered and installed over the existing tank to allow for access for the water cannon cleaning system.
Product Description: Influent Pump Station at Dallas Central WWTP
Owner: City of Dallas, TX
Location of Product: Dallas, TX
Date of Completion: October 2013
Overall Height/Length: N/A
Diameter: 6’ -3” and 5’ -3”
Steel Tonnage Used: 285
Steel Thickness: Varies ½” to 1 ¾”
Product Description and Special Features:
Our company supplied the steel pipe for the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Influent Pump Station located in Dallas,Texas. This included piping starting at six new pumps passing through two separate vaults and tieing into existing forced mains. This included over 1400 feet of 86", 72", 48" and 36" pipe.
The tee located in the upper right corner is a 72" tee with 72" outlet on one side and a 62" outlet on the other side. The crotch plates are 1 3/4" thick and 1 1/2" thick.
This piping was coated with 35 mils of polyurethane and 1" of cement was applied over the top of the polyurethane. Pipe was lined with a modified polyamine ceramic epoxy.
Product Description: Choloma Hydroelectric Project
Owner: Grupo Secacao
Location of Product: Senahu, Guatemala
Date of Completion: 2013
Overall Height/Length: 2,690 M
Diameter: 42”, 38”
Steel Tonnage Used: 645
Steel Thickness: 0.25’ -0.482”
To generate power in the rain forest of Guatemala, 2,690 meters of 42” and 38” pipe was fabricated in the United States and transported by sea to Guatemala. Epoxy lining and polyurethane coating for the steel pipe were chosen not only for their service life, but also for their durability needed for the field conditions they would endure during the transport and installation. Pipe was telescoped with four 38” diameter joints inside four 42” diameter joints that were bundled and placed in shipping containers for delivery to site.
Very unique installation processes had to be used due to the geography and primitive environment, the change in elevation over the 2,690 meters was close to 600 meters. A unique method of installation minimized the disturbance to the rain forest. Pipe was transported to the trench with a cable crane, eliminating the use of forklifts and cranes. Pipe was installed and welded by certified welders and proper X-Ray inspection was performed in each joint. Thermofusion sleeves were provided for each joint to protect the coating and proper epoxy patching was done for the inside lining.
Construction work created much needed employment for over 400 local workers for a year, injecting much needed cash into the severely depressed local economy. Ten permanent full time jobs were also created. The completed project not only helps the local residents but provides reduction in greenhouse gas production by offsetting burning of coal and petroleum products, two major sources of electricity in Guatemala.
Product Description: McCook Main Tunnel Liner
Owner: U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
Location of Product: Chicago, IL
Date of Completion: 2013
Overall Height/Length: 300’ Height Underground, 480’ Long
Diameter: 33’ ID
Steel Tonnage Used: 1,650
Steel Thickness: .750” – 1.00”
Our company performed all subassembly and assembly welding onsite for the McCook Reservoir Main Tunnel. This tunnel section will connect the McCook Reservoir to Chicago’s Deep Tunnel system, which is aimed at improving water quality in area rivers and Lake Michigan and reducing flood risk for Chicago and suburban communities. The project is a key component of Chicago’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP). Through TARP, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago collects and diverts combined sewer overflows and floodwaters throughout metropolitan Chicago to temporary holding reservoirs before treatment.
The bifurcated steel tunnel system is about 480 ft. long and 33 ft in diameter. The purpose of the steel bifurcated section is to convert the 33’ diameter circular liner to two, 14’x29.5’ rectangular shapes to allow for a set of six wheeled gate valves to control flow.
The challenging aspects of this work are the material type, large size/weight of the steel liner and assembly/fitting of the constantly changing steel liner geometry. Our scope included the subassembly, fitting and welding of all steel sections of the tunnel liner and assistance in the installation. All seam welds on this project are full penetration butt welds, ultrasonically inspected, on high tensile steel which required preheat and special consumables. Assembly of the liner also has required special layout, as liner shapes continue to change throughout the project. Most subassembly has taken place onsite on the surface within a shelter. The pieces are then flown (lowered by crane) down a 90’ diameter shaft to the installation level 300’ below, where installation, fitting, and welding of the sub assembled sections is completed.
Product name: Nova Plate 325
Product available: 2013
Industrial tanks and pressure vessels may operate at elevated temperatures and under pressure. These tanks may contain "raw" liquids extracted under pressure or process solutions that are pressurized to simplify conveyance.
In the past, one of the only ways to protect the interiors of these tanks and pressure vessels was to apply a lining - in multiple coats - and bake these linings at high temperatures until they were fully cured.