|The first eco-friendly and safe underground fuel tanks were installed yesterday at a petrol station in Ha Noi's Dong Anh District.— Photo baocongthuong
HA NOI (VNS) — The first eco-friendly and safe underground fuel tanks were installed yesterday at a petrol station in Ha Noi's Dong Anh District.
The double-hulled tanks, made from steel fibre imbedded in plastic, will eventually replace old single-hulled tanks at thousands of petrol stations across the country.
The tanks, which are being made in Viet Nam under a technology-transfer arrangement, will also be used to store chemicals and hazardous liquids.
The project is being backed by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA). It involves both the Viet Nam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) and Japan's Tamada Industries.
It promises to provide much better environmental and fire protection by preventing leakages of fuel into the soil sub-strata.
Masuda Chikahiro, senior representative of JICA Viet Nam, said that the about-US$1 million project was part of non-refundable, Official Development Assistance (ODA) to support small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries by applying new technology and products.
"Together with the development of a car-making industry in Viet Nam, there will be a need to build and expand fuel stations," he said.
"However, all underground tanks now being used are old steel single-shell tanks," he said.
"The new model will prevent the leakage of hazardous and explosive liquids such as fuel, oil and chemicals, thus ensuring environmental safety and hygiene," he said.
Tamada Yoshihisa, a director of the Tamada Company in Viet Nam, said that as fuel tanks were buried deep underground, people normally did not realise the risks from the leakage of liquids.
This could not only cause soil and underground water pollution, but also pose severe fire risks.
Tamada said that his company had completed the technology transfer of the new tank production to Petrolimex.
Colonel Doan Huu Thang, deputy director of the Fire Protection, Salvage and Rescue General Department under the Ministry of Public Security, said that existing tanks in Viet Nam had been buried for 20 to 30 years.
"During checks at fuel stations, we have discovered many where dozens of cubic metres of gasoline leaked into the soil," Thang said.
"The double-hulled tanks, which have been used worldwide, have become a compulsory standard for fuel stations in many countries," he said.
"They will be installed throughout the country soon, especially at fuel stations in the inner city and built-up residential areas," he said.
Thang said his department would work with relevant agencies in Viet Nam to build regulations for fuel stations which install the new tanks.
There are about 13,000 oil and gas stations in Viet Nam, of which about 3,000 belong to State-owned retailers, while the remaining 10,000 were private.
Vuong Thai Dung, deputy director general of Petrolimex, said the new tanks would cost much more than the old models.
Following yesterday's tank installation in the capital city, another two will be introduced in HCM City. — VNS