Monday, 18 November 2019 | 03:34
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The world’s first composite tank container is from Rotterdam

Sunday, 16 June 2019 | 20:00

Companies in the port of Rotterdam are innovating en masse in order to work in a climate-friendly manner and continue to grow economically at the same time. In the container sector, such innovations are often aimed at saving weight: the lighter the container, the more efficient and environmentally friendly the transport. Flaxfield, based in Europoort, together with CPT from Wieringerwerf, spent more than two years developing composite tank containers. This resulted in the lightest tank containers in the world with a high insulation value.

These composite tank containers have been on the market under the brand name Tankwell since 2015, and more than four hundred are now in use. “Composite silos and storage tanks have been around for forty years, but we are the first company in the world to offer composite tank containers,” says Casper Willems, Director of Composite Production Technology (CPT).

Smooth and insulating
Tankwell promises savings on logistics costs and CO2 emissions. The tanks are one and a half tonnes lighter than the metal ones, so they can carry more product per trip. “That saves on environmentally harmful kilometres,” explains Jan van Opstal, director of Flaxfield Tank Container Solutions. “In addition, composite has a high insulation value, as a result of which less energy is lost during the cooling or heating of the product. A third advantage is the smooth inside of the tank, which means less residue after unloading. After all, cleaning and processing residues also has a negative impact on the environment. In short, there are plenty of opportunities to make the logistics of liquids more efficient and sustainable.”

Hydrochloric acid
Composite tank containers are more expensive to buy than the metal version. “There are incentive schemes from the government and within three years you will have earned back the investment, because your return will increase,” says Van Opstal. Not all products can be transported in composite as well as in metal. Hydrochloric acid, for instance, is unsuitable for metal, but it is suitable for composite. The opposite applies to a substance such as acetone. “There is, however, a lot of overlap. Most products can be transported in composite just as well as in metal.”
Source: Port of Rotterdam

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