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There are many options to consider when investing in a new fuel storage tank. Design, capacity, location and the dispensing equipment fitted to your tank all play important roles in determining which type of tank will work best for you as well as being the most cost-effective over time.
One of the first choices you need to make concerns what your tank is made from – do you choose steel or plastic?
In our opinion, steel is usually the best choice, especially if you’re planning on storing larger amounts of fuel. Steel storage tanks provide several benefits that plastic cannot match, including durability, security and safety.
The Environment Agency’s Oil Storage Regulations (2001) state that commercial tanks with a capacity of 200 litres or more and domestic tanks with a capacity of 3500 litres or more must be bunded.
But, even if you’re storing a smaller amount of fuel, it’s worth considering that these regulations are frequently updated to improve safety and protect the environment. Investing in a bunded steel tank whatever storage capacity is required may well prove a wise decision.
Here’s a rundown of the reasons you should be buying a bunded steel fuel storage tank:
They Last Longer
Steel tanks are the clear choice for anyone who needs to store their fuel over a long period of time. Unlike plastic, which is susceptible to UV degradation and has a much shorter lifespan in general, steel can withstand accidental scuffs from on-site machinery without sustaining significant damage. A tank made of steel will also perform better in adverse weather conditions and leaks are less likely – good news for any nearby waterways and good news for your pocket too as you’re responsible for paying any clean-up costs.
Fuel theft is not just inconvenient and costly, it can also have a significant negative impact on your business due to the unexpected downtime it causes when fuel isn’t available. That’s why ensuring you’ve got strong security for your fuel tank should be at the top of every company’s list when planning how to protect against the growing problem of fuel theft! This is especially crucial now that it’s certain red diesel will no longer be an option after April 2022, landing a huge increase in fuel costs on thousands of industries that will have to swap to more expensive white diesel.
A well-designed and robustly built bunded steel tank provides the best security possible for your fuel. Penetrating two steel skins is far more difficult, noisy and time-consuming than simply puncturing a layer of plastic to syphon or pump out the valuable liquid. Many thieves give a bunded steel tank a miss and target plastic tanks that make their job easier.
Teamed with CCTV, lockable lids and a tank alarm, a bunded steel tank offers you the best fuel security possible.
Fuel management systems can also be installed with your steel fuel storage tank. These enable control and monitoring of your fleet’s fuel use across multiple sites or dispensers and make detecting employee fuel theft easy. Take a look at our range of fuel management systems.
Minimal Site Preparation Required
The installation process for steel tanks is much simpler than plastic ones, as all you have to do is locate the tank on a firm, flat base that is non-permeable in case of any spills. This is in line with Environment Agency PPG2 guidelines.
Siting a plastic tank is more complex. They must be installed, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, and require a perfectly level concrete base. This often means creating the base for the tank from scratch, which comes at a substantial cost. Whereas plastic tanks can be cheaper upfront, the site preparation usually matches or exceeds the price difference between plastic and steel.
Steel tanks are more durable and secure than plastic ones, so they offer better value over the long term. A steel tank can also be moved if business needs change and you need to move your fuel storage tank to a new location. Unlike plastic tanks, there’s no worry of invalidating the warranty if you re-locate a steel tank. Because of their durability, long lifespan and ability to be moved, it’s also possible to sell a steel tank if you decide to replace it.
Better for the Environment
Plastic fuel storage tanks have been around about 20 years now and it’s becoming apparent that safely disposing of them at the end of their lifetime isn’t easy. The polymer they are made of becomes increasingly difficult to recycle as it’s been contaminated with fuel over a long period of time. In fact, very few recycling outlets are able to use the material at all so the tank is likely to end up in landfill.
Steel tanks can be resold or easily recycled at the end of their lifespan.
If you’d like to talk to us about our fuel storage solutions, we’re happy to advise you about the best tank for your circumstances. We stock a large range of bunded steel storage tanks in various standard sizes which can be teamed with a fuel management system to improve your fuel security and efficiency.
If you’re looking for a bespoke tank or one with a larger capacity, we offer a bespoke tank design and manufacturing service and can make tanks to hold up to 100000 litres of fuel. Please get in touch to find out more.