MERO ČR tests tank cleaning using NON ENTRY system for the first time in the Czech Republic. A unique and innovative method more protective of human health and nature

Kralupy nad Vltavou, 24 July 2023 – For the first time in the Czech Republic, the NON ENTRY system has been used for cleaning an oil tank. The first company to use it was MERO ČR, which employed it to clean one of the tanks at the Central Oil Tank Farm in Nelahozeves from March to May this year. 

NON ENTRY is a unique automated system of remotely controlled nozzles. In addition to significantly saving time to clean, it improves the safety of employees who spend less time manually cleaning in a hazardous environment. It is also a technological shift that helps reduce the carbon footprint.

Oil tank cleaning is required every 15 to 20 years and is part of tank repair and upgrading processes. Typically, one tank is cleaned per year. Another one of the total of seventeen units located in Nelahozeves will be cleaned in 2025.

“Our company has long focused on innovations in tank cleaning technology. The NON ENTRY system, which we were the first to use in the Czech Republic, protects our employees more, reduces the time to clean and is also significantly more environmentally friendly,” said Jaroslav Pantůček, Chairman of the Board and CEO of MERO ČR, a.s.

“A Polish company of Climbex became the contractor selected for the supply of the NON ENTRY system. When choosing this method, we were proactive and visited tank farms situated, for example, in Hungary and Poland where the system is in use.

The new procedure has proven to be highly effective, so we are already passing on our experience to other companies not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad and are discussing the use of this unique method with them.

The NON ENTRY system is based on remotely controlled nozzles located on the roof of the tank. By injecting heated oil into the emptied tank, it is easier to dissolve and remove deposits while making the process significantly faster and safer. It is a virtually waste-free technology, which also helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the cleaning process as such, which is very important for MERO ČR,” said Zdeněk Dundr, Vice-Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of MERO ČR, a.s.

MERO ČR has tested several innovations in the past – for example, since 2002 the company has been the only one in Europe to use a Canadian technology referred to as Jet mixers; the mixers mechanically stir the sediments and reduce the time of manual cleaning. They however do not eliminate odours and emissions. Later, the company began to combine them with mobile combustion and, subsequently, catalytic units, which can effectively eliminate odours while significantly reducing hydrocarbon emissions into the air.

This year, the H22 storage tank, one of the largest at the Central Oil Tank Farm and one of the largest in Central Europe with its volume of 125,000 m³ volume and a surface area of the bottom (5,600 m2), underwent the cleaning process. It was put into operation in 2003 and this was its first cleaning. During this process, over 3,000 m³ of sediment was removed from the tank without any waste and dissolved for subsequent recovery.

All bottom welds over five kilometres long are now undergoing defectoscopy inspection. The H22 tank is expected to return to standard operation in approximately November this year after the completion of scheduled inspections, repairs and a comprehensive upgrade of the tank equipment. The tank can be filled in about three days via the IKL pipeline, and in about six and a half days via the Druzhba pipeline.