Scotch Whisky Malting Project – HFO Tank & Pipeline Clean

In July 2021, Merkland Tank carried out their fifth significant distillery project on behalf of leading combustion equipment manufacturer, Dunphy Combustion Limited.

Merkland Tank were tasked with removing over 50 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (HFO) from two mild steel horizontal cylindrical tanks from Dunphy’s clients’ Maltings site, in preparation for the switch to cleaner gas oil. Each tank measured over 9.1m in length and 2.7m in diameter, with a capacity of 53,000 litres.

The main challenge was the HFO had to remain at a heated temperature of 60°C to be pumpable for onward disposal. Equally critical was the process of flushing the pipelines before the oil cooled and set inside.

Merkland Tank’s experienced team of technicians, using our specialist vacuum tanker, successfully removed the 50 tonnes of HFO before transferring to insulated tankers for safe and compliant disposal, in line with current UK legislation.


Once the tanks were clear of the bulk oil, our highly-trained confined space operatives removed the remaining tank residues by high lift tanker, cleaned the tanks thoroughly, and flushed clean diesel through approximately 640m of associated pipeline to ensure all traces of HFO were completely removed.

Steven Jackson, Operations Manager at Merkland Tank commented, “Once again, we were delighted to partner with Dunphy Combustion to support them in the completion of this project. We have a great relationship with the team there, and our combined experience allowed us to complete the project within the tight timescales of the summer shutdown season. We already have further projects planned, and we very much look forward to working together again soon.”

Established in 1964, Dunphy Combustion is family owned and managed. The company designs, manufactures, installs and maintains a wide range of combustion equipment, digital control solutions and turnkey prefabricated, packaged boiler houses.

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