Loders Croklaan opted to use Outokumpu’s duplex grade of LDX 2101® steel for the tank walls and roof of 17 new palm oil tanks.
World leader thinks ahead
Palm oil plays a major role in feeding the world. Today it is the most widely produced edible oil in the world.
Loders Croklaan plays an important role in the palm oil industry, running Europe’s largest palm oil refinery and fractionation plant on a man-made peninsula in the Port of Rotterdam. The plant, which processes 2,500-3,000 tons of palm oil daily (enough to fill more than 500 Olympic pools each year), is supported by a large storage tank farm at the company dock.
When planning the farm in 2003, both Loders Croklaan and Dutch tank fabricator, Siemerink, looked for alternatives to the conventional storage tank material for edible oils.
The conventional choice would have been austenitic stainless steel 1.4301 (ASTM 304). But they were looking for a different material that would offer better resistance to corrosion, with low nickel.
Lean duplex is the answer
With local assistance from Outokumpu, both the palm oil company and the fabricators were convinced that Outokumpu’s proprietary duplex grade LDX 2101, newly introduced to the market at that time, would offer them a number of advantages.
Comprising of 17 tanks, the farm was completed in 2004. The palm oil tank walls and roofs were built out of LDX 2101 – a total of 716 tons of the material.
Twice the strength
Like all duplex grades, LDX 2101 features close to twice the mechanical strength compared to austenitic grades, allowing for use of thinner materials. Duplex enables weight savings of up 50 percent in some sections of storage tanks, while the usual saving is 20-30 percent. Siemerink achieved an average weight saving of 30 percent.
Owing to its very low nickel content (1.5%), LDX 2101 is highly competitive to austenitic grades – and even to carbon steel when life cycle cost is taken into account. The grade also features somewhat better overall corrosion resistance than 1.4301.
Success reaps rewards
Pleased with the performance of the LDX 2101 palm oil storage tanks, Loders Croklaan will be exclusively using the grade in an upcoming major expansion of the tank farm, comprising 41 tanks and consuming 1,300 tons of LDX 2101.
The new contract will be split between two tank fabricators, Siemerink and Oostwouder. The latter, specializing in on-site construction of welded tanks, will be in charge of larger units. Siemerink, fabricating at the company plant, will be using 2-meter-wide duplex coil, a product only available from Outokumpu. They will reap additional advantages, as there will be less welding compared to conventional, narrower coil widths.