Dutch Harbor 70,000-Gallon Fish-Oil Tanks

The client contacted T BAILEY, INC. and wanted a fish-oil storage facility built in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. This was a unique project for the client because they are a commodities broker so don’t typically invest in infrastructure like this.

The Dutch Harbor tank facility was also a unique project for T BAILEY, INC. as the client didn’t know what they wanted to have or how they wanted to have it — all they knew was that they needed some kind of fish-oil storage facility. Consequently, the design stage of this contract was significantly more involved than the typical tank fabrication project.

This case will share the process T BAILEY, INC. used to help the client decide on what they wanted, as well as the challenges we met and overcame during the heavy steel fabrication process.

70000 gallon storage tank

Dutch Harbor Project Overview

T BAILEY, INC. was partnered in very early when the scope of the project was undefined. The client approached us, not knowing what size of tanks they needed, not sure what the configuration would look like, and unaware of what the needs of the project would be.

The client decided to partner with T BAILEY, INC. because we are a turnkey tank fabricator. We are a general contractor, design firm, fabricator, and can send crews out for field construction. These abilities enabled us to take this project from a simple vision to an up-and-running fish-oil storage facility.

At the same time, this isn’t to say that the Dutch Harbor project wasn’t challenging — it was. We pushed our Anacortes fabrication facility to the maximum, manufacturing 6 of the largest possible tanks our shop could handle. Each tank had a 70,000-gallon capacity and was 25.4’ in diameter, with a shell height of 19’.

The goal was to give our client the largest storage capacity possible with the least amount of tanks.

In addition to fabrication, T BAILEY, INC. sent personnel to France and Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for research and design. We also managed all the mechanical design, heating system and containment manufacturing, all the permitting required, and hired local engineers and contractors in Dutch Harbor to help construct the working facility.

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Challenges We Encountered During This Project

Given the massive scope of this project, there were a number of challenges that T BAILEY, INC. encountered during the design, fabrication, and construction stages of this build. This section of the case study will share these challenges with you and recount how our experts overcame these to complete the facility on schedule.

Challenge #1: Figuring Out What Kind of Facility the Client Needed

To help the client figure out what kind of features and components were required for this facility, we sent some of our project leaders to France (along with members of the client’s team) so that we could examine a working fish-oil facility there.

The France trip helped the client and our team decide on the tank size and specifications. We also got some configurations on piping and other tank hardware.

For example, one of the things we learned was how to organize the oil-movement portion of the project. The Dutch Harbor facility would need to move oil from a ship into the tanks, and then from the tanks back out to another ship. The French facility had this capability and so we were able to determine what kind of components our own project needed.

Another thing we learned was how a fish-oil facility differs from non-animal oil and water facilities. The Dutch Harbor project was the first raw-product fish-oil facility that T BAILEY, INC. ever built, so being able to speak with French engineers and seeing their facilities in action helped us immensely.

In addition to the France trip, we also sent team members up to Dutch Harbor a couple of times to look at possible sites and figure out what the site would look like.

The number of research trips required for this project were atypical because clients usually come to us already knowing what they need.

Challenge #2: Designing the Fish-Oil Tanks

At T BAILEY, INC., our standard operating procedure is to manage the design stage of the tanks we build, so we were able to rely on a trusted engineering firm in Anacortes to help us design the tanks.

This introduces a major advantage of partnering with T BAILEY, INC. for your tank project — our decades of experience in the industry have enabled us to cultivate a network of expert contractors around the Northwest who we can rely on to help us complete a project.

Next, we partnered with an engineering firm based in Dutch Harbor to help us fine-tune site and mechanical design. They also navigated the city and state permitting process for us and worked through the overall design of the project to get approval with our client.

Challenge #3: Creating a Tank-Heating System

The weather in Dutch Harbor can get pretty cold. This posed a problem for the fish oil facility since the oil needed to be moved from ship to tank and from tank back to ship.

Oil needs to be fluid in order to be moved around like this, but the cold Alaskan weather would cause it to thicken, making movement impossible.

To solve this problem, T BAILEY, INC. designed a tank-heating system to heat the oil up inside the tanks prior to a movement. We installed heating coils inside the tanks and then provided a boiler module to produce steam for the coils.

Challenge #4: Moving the Tanks

Getting the tanks moved from our shop down to the harbor in Anacortes was a challenge. As mentioned earlier, these tanks were the absolute largest that we could build in-shop, which made transporting them extremely difficult.

To get the tanks down to the harbor, it was necessary for us to fabricate a custom-trailer specifically made for these tanks. We also had to coordinate with the city, as it was necessary to shut the whole road down all the way from our shop to the port.

Once at the harbor, we were able to rely on our work history of shipping tanks for remote fuel farms in Alaska. We followed our standard operating procedure and loaded the tanks onto barges at the deep-water port in Anacortes, barged them to Seattle, transferred them to a larger barge, and then sent them up to Alaska.

70000 gallon storage tank fabrication

Why T BAILEY, INC. Was Uniquely Qualified to Build These Tanks

T BAILEY, INC. was able to provide the client with:

  • We provided design and engineering
  • Pricing options
  • Site grading
  • Foundation construction
  • Containment and fencing
  • Mechanical heating systems and boilers
  • Mechanical pumps and hoses for moving the oil
  • A fabricated loading dock
  • Permitting with the city and state
  • Site lighting and electrical systems

T BAILEY, INC. didn’t simply meet the client’s expectations. We also set them up for future success by connecting them with a Dutch Harbor contracting firm who could be relied on for long-term support. We also constructed the facility with the ability to be expanded in the future.

We were uniquely qualified to complete this scope of work because we have the in-house capabilities and network resources to take a green field site and deliver a complete and ready-to-use bulk fuel storage facility.

An Expert Oil Tank Fabricator Near You

As demonstrated in this case study, the advantage of partnering with T BAILEY, INC. is that we deliver turn-key results. You can come to us with nothing but a concept and we’ll take it all the way to a completed, working facility.

To learn more about what we can do for your company, contact T BAILEY, INC. today.

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We’re designed to perform custom fabrication of heavy structural and plate products, and can directly ship oversized loads via barge, rail, or truck to your location.

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