A challenging contract… delivering storage tank solutions at an altitude of 5000m in the Atacama desert.

ASM in the desert

The Storage Tanks arrive at the ALMA facility.

Today Tank World journeys to Chile in the company of A. Silva Matos (ASM) to gain an insight into their manufacture and delivery of 3 LPG storage tanks for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) site in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. This remarkable facility consists of 66 12-meter and 7-meter radio telescopes aiming to provide insight on star birth during the early universe and detailed imaging of local star and planet formation. ALMA is an international partnership between Europe, the United States, Canada, East Asia and the Republic of Chile costing more than a billion US dollars.

The contract to deploy LPG storage tanks at the ALMA facility to provide a multi-fuel power was given to A. Silva Matos, a company with over 30 years experience and recognized worldwide for innovation in oil and gas storage.  ASM were tasked with the task of manufacturing 3 LPG storage tanks each with a capacity of 206m3, and shipping by boat from Portugal to Chile before transferring to the site by truck. The unique transport movements required aside the project also had a number of challenges including gaining Chilean certification and approval of the tanks along with Global certification of the tanks installation and working both with a different language and in inhospitable conditions.

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On the certification aspect, European Certification (CE mark) was not enough the tanks had to be homologated by the Chilean Local Authoritie (SEC -Superintendencia de Electricidad y Combustibles).

ASM on a boat

The Storage Tanks disembark after sailing from Portugal.

To ensure this approval the SEC homologates needed to be imported with in two conditions: Manufacturer production is certified by a recognized Notified Body and the equipment is certified by a Chilean Notified Body, upon arrival to Chile.

The Contract was awarded by December 2010 with having overcome the challenges the tanks were delivered and installed in May 2013. This project proved a remarkable success, with the opening up of a new market for ASM and a great example of co-operation (as the whole project is) between ASM and the facility managers European Southern Observatory (ESO). This is without doubt one of the most challenging but fascinating deliveries of tank storage solutions anywhere in the world.

ASilvaMatos_WeblogoAndre Costa, Commercial Manager, ASM will be an expert speaker at the upcoming Tank World Expo, 14-15 April 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Join over 1000 attendees, 100 expert speakers and 80 exhibitors and book your place today. With more than 30 years of experience, A. Silva Matos quality is a worldwide recognized leader in the Oil & Gas business. To find out how they can work with you visit here.


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