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Problmes faced while using iso-container

Problmes faced while using iso-container

Problmes faced while using iso-container

Dear friends,
During shutdowns of the plants many a times we need to bring different chemicals inside the plant in iso-containers.

Safety concerns have been raised in our company that this practice is not safe and poses many dangers/risks. The personnel opposing it say permanently installed fixed tanks should be provided instead of using iso containers. But this is cost to company.
I request you to enlighten me with your experience in using iso containers. I could think of the problems listed below. Kindly add yours or comment on what I have given below:
1) Hoses are used while transferring chemicals from iso containers which are not safe. Problems of spillage may be there. In permanent storage tanks fixed piping system is in place to take care of transfers.
2) Nitrogen blanketing which is permanently fixed with fixed tanks is not provided with iso containers making it fire hazard.
3) Fixed fire fighting foam system or other fire fighting system is available with fixed tanks. For iso containers movable fire extinguishers have to be used.
4) There is no proper method available to control flow in iso containers while in fixed tanks, proper instruments and controls are available to take care of flow.
5) Fixed tanks have proper access (stairs) to reach to top. In case of iso containers none is available.
Please give your opinion.

RE: Problmes faced while using iso-container

Even if you have dedicated storage tanks / pressurized storage on site for chemicals and fluids, you still need to bring the chemicals in via containers. So virtually none of your concerns will really be eliminated.

Proper hazard identification and management (administrative controls, additional design elements - if needed, adequate response plans etc.) is what will likely reduce the risk to tolerable levels. I have worked in 5 different plants where ISO-containers where utilized and operated trouble-free, on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.

See some of the links below, they all have sections dedicated to safety subjects related to ISO-containers:


Process Engineer, MSChE

RE: Problmes faced while using iso-container

Similarly, one could ask whether it's safe or unsafe to be in the business of refining highly flammable and explosive oil products, or producing chemicals that can be deadly. Can such activities be categorically defined as are safe or unsafe? No, they're neither inherently safe or inherently unsafe. Safety depends on the people and the organization running the process - their training, attitude, and management practices. An organization with well trained people and good leaders can perform any task safely. On the other hand, an activity as benign as processing water can be unsafe if the plant is run by people who don't value safety.

RE: Problmes faced while using iso-container

For the concerns you have listed, the following may help :
1) Use hoses with dry break couplings - also place the isotainer within a containment dyke.
2) Check the upper design pressure limit for these isotainers and see if you can find an N2 press regulator that can work within this limit ?
3)You've suggested an alternative here
4)Pls elaborate - would you not be pumping out from this isotainer, so flow control would be possible ?
5)There are companies that make air operated movable elevated access platforms if you need to get access to the top of the isotainer.

RE: Problmes faced while using iso-container

All depends on how you set it up and the amount of planning and fore thought.

You can just bring in containers, park them haphazardly and have hoses and tubes snaking all over the place or you can do it properly.

Have a dedicated area with a bund, fire fighting and monitoring, hard piping right up to the final jumper, portable sensors to fit to the tanks, valves on the hard piping etc.

I always hate the word "temporary" when it comes to hydrocarbon systems. The implication is that design, construction and operation can somehow be of a lower standard that is acceptable for "permanent" systems. This is the key thing to address.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Problmes faced while using iso-container

Dear All,
Thanks for your inputs and your advice taken.
Summing it:
Whatever we should do, we HAVE TO take safety measures first.
Thanks again!

RE: Problmes faced while using iso-container

We do this frequently. We have a pad for them, it is dyked, has purge gas supply, and has installed fire suppression.
And we have written procedures for bringing them in, siting, connecting, using, and removing them.
It is no different than having a place to load/unload trucks.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

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