Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gibraltar - Corrosion - Storage Tanks in Port - An investigation on Fire & Explosion on 1st May 2011 at the Nature Port Reception Facilities site at the Western Arm

Network Discussion Posted by Trevor, Matcor Inc, USA

An investigation into the cause of a Gibraltar port explosion last May has uncovered a litany of alleged physical faults and management shortfalls at the sullage plant operated by Nature Port Reception Facilities [Nature], including claims that storage tanks were heavily corroded and badly maintained. - Read More

Port Explosion Report Reveals Tank Corrosion "Easily" Detectable

Investigation Reports released by Government of Gibraltar

342/2011 - Fire & Explosion on 1st May 2011 at the Nature Port Reception Facilities site at the Western Arm


  1. Christine Howard • Corrosion Protection of storage tanks is one area where computer simulation can really help ensure the structure is protected. If you would like a copy of a presentation on this subject given at recent conference just let me know and I will be happy to email a copy to you.
    8 days ago

    Manickam Valliappan • Thanks for the info. Would you pl send it to my address? If you wish to share the link available for this presentation, I will include in the Publications list of our corrosion management survey website. I have the following Qs:
    Is there any selection chart/matrix available to know the areas applicable for corrosion simulation?
    Can we consider simulation as the replacement for conventional inspection or will minimize the frequency of visual/automated inspection?
    7 days ago

    Christine Howard • The BEASY software can simulate any structure in a galvanic corrosion environment.
    Simulation is not a replacement for conventional inspection but can help minimise the frequency of inspections. It can also provide feedback on the effectiveness of a proposed CP design (or retrofit) to protect the structure throughout its planned lifetime. The CP design can therefore be optimised using simulation techniques before it is implemented on the structure.
    7 days ago

  2. Manickam Valliappan • Thanks Trevor. I have gone through the reports released by an external and independent investigation agency commissioned by the Government of Gibraltar. Main Findings are provided below for quick reference to our members.

    Main Findings
    1. Failure to manage contractors when undertaking welding operations within the site;
    2. Failure to repair, corrosion perforations on the roofs of Tanks 1 and Tank 2 that had
    been identified, but not repaired.
    3. There appears to have been a number of significant departures from a sound health
    and safety management system expected of any organisation operating a
    potentially hazardous plant such as this.
    4. The health and safety and accident management policies and procedures of the
    facility lacked sufficient detail.
    5. The vetting process to ensure that sub-contractors carried out their work safely was
    not transparent, nor was it clear that Nature appreciated the need to keep close
    contact with the sub-contractor’s men, especially in the absence of the subcontractor’s supervisor.
    6. The examination of the roof section of Tank No1 revealed that it had over twenty
    (20) perforations of the plating, all of which had been caused by long term
    7. The examination of the roof section of Tank No 2 revealed that it had over forty (40)
    perforations of the plating, once again all of which had been caused by long term
    8. The main conclusion reached is that prior to the explosions and fire on 31 May
    2011, the integrity of the both tanks would have been breached by many corrosion
    related perforations in the roof structure and that neither tank would have been
    hermetically tight.
    7 days ago


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