Considerations for aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) on the West Coast

The West Coast is a major economic force on the national and global stage—and a major economic force has serious energy demands.

More than 50 million people are estimated to live in the five West Coast states (including Alaska and Hawaii), with nearly 40 million people living in California alone. The amount of people living on the West Coast means operators in these five states have numerous concerns when it comes to safely store energy. Operators planning aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) in the West Coast must take into consideration environmental concerns, fuel type, and state labor laws. Matrix NAC can position you to succeed on all fronts.


Preparing for seismic activity is critical

For starters, we have decades of experience in preparing, retrofitting, and maintaining ASTs to withstand a variety of weather-related events; events that could otherwise potentially be catastrophic. These weather-related events include hurricanes, tornadoes, and most importantly for operations on the West Coast, seismic activity.

Our sister-company Matrix PDM Engineering conducted a detailed analysis on how well our retrofitted ASTs performed in two separate locations during an earthquake in Oklahoma on October 10, 2015. At one location, which experienced a recorded peak ground acceleration (PGA) of 13% g,  we found that all tank diameters and sizes experienced results (lateral stability, dynamic hoop tensile stresses, overturning moment, shell buckling stress and sloshing) that were well within design norms. There were also no reports of earthquake-related tank damage in the area. At the second location, which experienced a tremendous PGA of 60% g, only the hydrodynamic hoop stress for the larger tanks exceeded the design limit, and it was only slightly. Put simply, even when seismic activity is rough, our ASTs stand tough.


Environmental advantages of LNG

To meet the increasing and ever-evolving energy demands on the West Coast, we also have experience with ASTs for liquid natural gas (LNG). As the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, LNG has numerous environmental advantages that provide your operation a safe, smart, and affordable alternative to oil-based fossil fuels. LNG emits 45-50% less CO2 than coal, 30% less CO2 than fuel oil, dramatically reduces nitrogen oxide emissions, does not emit soot, dust or fumes, and produces insignificant amounts of sulfur dioxide, mercury, and other particulates compared to other fuels. LNG is also a valuable addition to your operation’s renewable energy mix. When wind or solar energy resources fluctuate in a given area, LNG can easily switch over and make up the difference without any disruption in service.


Changes in labor laws require union workers

There are also economic and political considerations to take into account when planning ASTs on the West Coast, especially in America’s most populous state, California. California Senate Bill 54 (SB 54) went into effect in 2014 and effectively removed non-trades contractors from refinery construction work. As the direct-union hire division of Matrix Service Company, Matrix NAC has provided unionized professional workers in the construction, maintenance, and repair services to energy and industrial markets across North America since 1986. Our unionized workforce can meet your operational needs, while satisfying the labor requirements in California and other states.


The Matrix NAC advantage

Whether your AST is on the West Coast, East Coast, Midwest, or anywhere in the nation, we are North America’s largest aboveground storage tank repair and maintenance contractor, and are prepared to help your tank perform to its peak. To get the most out of your AST, we recommend routine maintenance, which can reduce costs, increase safety, prevent catastrophic failure, and increase your equipment’s life span and performance.

Since 1986, we have established ourselves as a trusted partner for aboveground storage tank design, construction, and maintenance. We offer the full spectrum of expert services that  are tailored to your needs, including:

  • Turnkey inspection and repair
  • Repair and replacement of tank bottoms, roofs, and shells
  • Walkways, platforms, and handrails
  • Seal repairs and installations
  • And more

Wherever you operate, put our three decades of national experience and expertise in aboveground storage tanks to work for you.

Contact us about our aboveground storage tank services and get a quote today.