How to reduce operating costs of Storage Tanks

Storage tanks are used to store liquids or compressed gases for short or long durations or for hot or cold storage. Industries such as petroleum, food, and fertilizer widely utilize them. IS 10987 (1992), or the American Petroleum Institute’s API 650 and API 620 standards, govern the design and construction of storage tanks.

The cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining the storage tanks can quickly add up. In this blog, we look at various strategies that can help businesses reduce the operating costs of storage tanks.

Evaluate Cost Reduction Strategies

Before we outline ways to reduce the operating costs of storage tanks. We need to identify the current operating costs. This evaluation will help you pinpoint areas of improvement. Plant managers should maintain proper records of inspections, maintenance,  and modifications carried out.  You can begin this process by breaking down the operating costs under:

Maintenance and inspection costs 

Storage tanks need regular maintenance to maintain their structural integrity. This will help plant managers identify issues early on to prevent a shutdown. Maintenance team must clean the tanks before any maintenance work can start.

During the inspection, the technician will check the tank for signs of wear and tear, such as leaks and cracks, and for signs of degradation. The repair and maintenance team carries out repairs if they find during inspection.


 The labour cost of the storage tank may vary depending on the type and size of the tank, the complexity of operations, the number of personnel required, and the expertise required. Water tanks will have lower labour costs compared to chemical tanks. Chemical tanks frequently call for specialized handling techniques.  


 Storage tanks may need power for heating, cooling, ventilation, or pumping. The dairy, metal treatment, and textile industries require heating. Industries may need to heat or cool water or chemicals as part of the production process.  They may need water and chemicals to cool or heat the fluid as part of the manufacturing process.

Material costs

Storage tanks may need material as part of operations, maintenance, and repairs. This may include gaskets, flanges, bolts, lubricants, and other consumables. 

Evaluating and identifying operational costs is crucial before you look for ways to improve efficiency and reduce them.

Strategies to reduce operating costs

Plant managers are always looking for ways to reduce operating costs. Here are some strategies they can follow to reduce the operating costs of storage tanks:-

Preventive maintenance: 

The maintenance of storage tanks, whether you are storing pulp, chemicals, or petroleum products, is similar. Regular and proactive maintenance of storage tanks is essential to proactively identify and fix possible issues that could result in tank failure, catastrophic environmental contamination, or occupational injuries.

Inspectors who carry out the inspection have documents like approved drawings, applicable standard documents, and checklists. They carry out inspections periodically :

  • Monthly maintenance
  • Annual maintenance 
  • 5-year maintenance

The team uses a detailed checklist to optimize the process and ensure that nothing is overlooked. Depending on the feedback from the inspection, the maintenance team carry out repair work like welding and grinding. Periodic inspections help extend the life of storage tanks. 

Insulating the tanks

Storage tanks are used to store raw materials, intermediates, finished goods, or usable byproducts.  Improper insulation in hot storage tanks causes a significant loss of energy annually.

 Working to cut costs requires careful consideration of worker safety and efficient resource management. Storage tanks that lack an effective insulation system risk employee safety, energy loss, and financial loss. The roof and tank walls are major sources of heat loss. 

Insulating the bottom of the tank can cut heat loss by 90%. Cellular glass insulation is one of the best insulation materials available.   This makes it simple to calculate the annual energy savings, payback periods, financial yields, and avoided emissions during the tank’s lifetime. It is not difficult to ask for insulating material at the bottom of the tank during scheduled maintenance visits.

Optimized tank size

The volume of the storage tank needs to be optimized to meet the requirements. Larger tanks require more energy and resources for heating and cooling. Businesses can optimize tank capacity to lower energy usage, reduce resource waste, and boost overall operational effectiveness. 

When determining the ideal tank size, it is important to take into account space restrictions as well as production volume and material turnover rates.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the  US found that optimizing the tank size can reduce the energy consumption of a hot water storage tank by up to 20%.

Automated monitoring systems

All industries need to install tank monitoring systems in their storage tanks. Overfilling the tank can result in material and production losses and damage the tank. Overflowing tanks containing hazardous materials could negatively impact the environment and be expensive to clean up. Inadequate feedstock tank replenishment can cause stock shortages, which might delay production or delivery.

The latest monitoring systems use Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The technology allows industries to gain real-time monitoring, a cost-effective, end-to-end solution, better safety, advanced analytics, predictive maintenance, and smarter inventory management. 

Using Variable drive pumps

Industrial pumps are designed to operate at peak efficiency at maximum flow rates. But most processes do not require a maximum flow rate at all times. By combining the power of the pump with the effectiveness of a variable frequency drive (VFD), plant operators can get a fantastic opportunity to save energy costs, prolong the life of the pump, and improve performance. 

 The energy a pump uses accounts for 90% of its life cycle expenses, with the cost of the pump motor itself making up just 10% of that total. A VFD can reduce that by 50%.

Vendor Partnerships 

Plants can explore working with vendors and service providers for annual maintenance contracts or bulk discounts on materials. These contracts can be favourable to both parties and result in significant savings. The partnerships can help reduce inventory costs, streamline the procurement of spares, and ensure timely repairs.  We at Venwiz can help you find AMC partners and partners for various spare parts.

Other measures to reduce the operating costs of storage tanks include:

  • Train manpower on proper operating procedures. 
  • Using solar panels for lighting around the storage tanks can reduce energy requirements substantially. 
  • Conduct routine energy audits to identify energy-saving opportunities and any safety concerns with electrical systems.
  • Implement water-conservation strategies like rainwater collection or water-recycling systems, to cut down on the amount of water needed for tank operations. 
  • Have an inventory management system in place to minimize storage and handling costs.

Types of Storage Tanks

Storage tanks come in a variety of sizes and configurations, from small 25-gallon tanks to enormous reservoirs. Storage tanks can be broadly classified into:

  • Above-ground storage tanks (AST) are widely used because of their lower initial costs, easier maintenance, and reduced long-term maintenance. 
  • Underground storage tanks (UST) are tanks where at least 10% of the storage volume is underground. UST makes for better space utilization and a decreased risk of explosions when volatile substances are stored. 
Above-ground storage tanks Overheadstorage tanks
Underground Storage TanksUnderground storage tanks septic
Spherical Storage tanksSpherical Storage Tanks
Cylindrical storage tanksAbove-ground-storage-tanks.

Storage tanks can be cylindrical or spherical. One can orient cylindrical storage tanks either vertically or horizontally.

Above-ground storage tanks are further classified into:

Fixed Roof Tanks

Fixed Roof storage tanks

A permanent cone- or dome-shaped roof adorns these cylindrical steel-welded tanks. The tanks operate at atmospheric pressure, i.e., internal pressure can range from ambient to 0.03 atm. 

Fixed-roof tanks have pressure-vacuum valves and vents to maintain a constant pressure or vacuum inside the tank.

Fixed-roof tanks can handle a range of fluids, such as petroleum, petrochemicals, and distillates. water, chemicals, and pulp. 

Floating roof tank

Floating roof storage tanks

Floating roof tanks have a metal deck or pan that floats directly on top of the liquid in the tank and rises and falls with the level of the liquid. Unlike fixed roof tanks, floating roof tanks have no vapour space, eliminating breathing and evaporation loss. 

  • Internal floating roof tanks are used for liquids with lower melting points, like gasoline and ethanol. 
  • External floating roof tanks are used to store petroleum products. Industries use the roofs for economic or environmental reasons, as they prevent product loss and reduce the risk of hazardous emissions or pollutants.

Underground Tanks

Underground tanks are installed underground. The tanks shield from the environment, occupy no space, and do not obstruct the flow of commodities or vehicles. Septic tanks and fuel tanks are two typical examples.

Water tanks

 Water storage tanks are used to contain potable water and collect and store rainwater. Manufacturers can make water tanks from plastic, fiberglass, concrete, or steel, and they are more common in locations without access to potable water. Water tanks find applications in domestic, commercial, agricultural, fire suppression, or industrial settings.We can classify water tanks into:

  • Overhead storage tanks are built at a certain height. 
  • Underground water tanks are ideal for water harvesting. 

Procurement Made Easy with Venwiz 

Venwiz is a leading Capex platform providing discovery, procurement, and execution solutions. Whether you are looking for a new storage tank or spares for your existing tank, Venwiz can help streamline your effort and make it more efficient. 

  • Comprehensive list of vendors: Venwiz has over 200 verified storage tank vendor profiles on the platform. We have various filters that allow you to shortlist vendors easily. 
  • Send RFQs: Sending RFQs can be tedious. With the Venwiz platform, you can send inquiries to different vendors. This centralized system allows you to gather and compare quotes. This helps you make an informed decision. 
  • Promotes transparency: The Venwiz platform enables you to make cost-effective decisions. The platform allows you to interact directly with the vendor. You can optimize procurement costs by negotiating favorable prices and terms. 
  • Find AMC partners: The Venwiz platform has vendors who offer storage tank repair and maintenance services. 
  • Streamline project management: Venwiz’s advanced milestone management tools help you ensure on-time delivery and smoother project execution. Our client management teams will assist you when required. 

Our Top Storage Tank Vendors are

Startech Projects & Engineers

Startech Project & Engineers Pvt. Ltd., a company certified with ISO 9001:2015, specializes in manufacturing, erecting, commissioning, and supplying storage tanks, pressure vessels, automatic LPG bottling plants, PEB, control panels, and current transformers. The company offers a wide range of products and services, committing to providing customers with the highest-quality products and services at competitive prices.

Shreeji Engineers & Consultants

Shreeji Engineers & Consultants are a leading designer, manufacturer, and supplier of storage tanks, agitated nutsche filters, reactors, heat exchangers, and high vacuum distillation systems. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, they are committed to providing their customers with the highest quality products and services at competitive prices.

Topse Process Solutions Private Limited

Topse Process Solutions Private Limited is a leading provider of turnkey solutions for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, commissioning, and validation of reactors, heat exchangers, and pressure vessels. They have over 12 years of experience in the industry, and we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality products and services at competitive prices.

Contact us:

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