I am working on a new refinery project in the middle-east where for internal coating application contractor is seeking to cut open the shell approximately 3.5 m x 3 m to allow easy entry of coating application equipment such as a man-lift. The tank has already been hydro-tested. Contractor proposes to re-install the shell and carry out radiography on the new welds (no hydro-test, though). To my understanding no significant welding should be carried out on a hydro-tested tank. While in Canada, I never received any such requests from the contractors although I awarded such tanks to many Alberta contractors. It is quite possible that such requests never reached the home office, so I never came to know about it.
Is it a common practice to make large openings in the shell for coating application? Has anyone allowed such deviation from API 650?
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