Balmoral Tanks: A guide to successfully specify anaerobic digestion storage tank solutions

As the global anaerobic digestion markets open up and make a significant contribution to renewable energy targets there are opportunities for manufacturing companies to establish sustainable working relationships that will contribute positively to business growth in the years ahead.

The process of realising and maximising that potential, however, can be a long and arduous one which requires a partnership approach between the customer and supply chain. The anaerobic digestion sector is unique in its demands on the supply chain with a great deal of front-end work required.

EBA member Balmoral Tanks has elaborated a comprehensive guide describing the key areas to be considered when selecting a storage tank manufacturer for an anaerobic digestion project. This process is not merely about choosing a tank; such a decision requires consideration of supply chain performance, health and safety credentials, and financial security.

Driving value
Reputable tank manufacturers focus on what drives value in the industry and how they can support clients through each stage of the anaerobic digestion project life cycle.

Clients need to ensure they are working as close to source as they can when selecting supply chain partners. The true test of a relationship and service promise comes when issues arise during the project cycle; a solid, sensible relationship should be in place to ensure the correct outcome is achieved quickly.

Innovation and design solutions
As a design, manufacture and build contractor of many years’ experience, Balmoral’s business has a major focus on health and safety- both in its own operations and on behalf of clients. Similar to project budget analysis that focuses purely on numbers, a desire to build projects within very condensed timescales is frequently requested. Given the changing horizon on feed-in tariffs this is understandable.

In the face of such pressure, it is critical that health and safety is not compromised or even perceived to be compromised. We are all too aware that an incident with a health and safety origin could result in human and capital costs far exceeding any perceived savings.

Financial security
A final and fundamental factor to consider when selecting a tank contractor has to be financial stability. Project cycles for most anaerobic digestion plants will run beyond twelve months and the ability of the contractor to ‘finance’ material purchases necessary to commence tank manufacture should not be under-estimated.

A major factor to consider regarding financial stability is when the project and plant will actually be built. With the operational criteria of the anaerobic digestion process being highly demanding on storage tanks there must be a strong focus on how secure product warranties are; given these could be for as long as twelve years under the latent defects of a contract. Thorough due diligence should be undertaken to avoid unnecessary problems down the line.

In summary, choosing a tank supplier is a decision that must consider potential working relationships, performance history, health and security commitment and financial stability. If these four points are satisfied, a successful conclusion to the installation phase of the project will be achieved.

For further information on anaerobic digestion tank specification, you can contact Jonathan Smith of Balmoral Tanks.