In early 1990, Envirotank was the first to introduce fibreglass (FRP) underground fuel storage tanks (UST’s) to the Australian petroleum market. After an exhaustive technology evaluation Envirotank decided on a USA licenced technology from Owens Corning Tanks, which at the time had been successfully supplying tanks to the USA and Canada for almost 30 years, that’s now almost 60 years.
Envirotank began promoting the benefits of corrosion resistant structural FRP tanks to the petroleum market with the offer a 30 year warranty, another first and something never heard of before from any petroleum storage tank supplier.
Until Envirotank entered the market, UST’s for the fuel storage market had been manufactured of steel, and initially developing a viable market proved to be very difficult. There were two major and three small steel tank manufacturers already in the Australian market and all were strategically located around the country. Typically, steel tanks were single tanks without compartments and typically ranged in size from 2,000 litres to 110,000 litres with 30,000 to 55,000 litre tanks being the preference in retail fuel storage applications.
In entering the market, Envirotank first looked at providing its customers with a real difference that would provide greater flexibility with innovative products. In a first Envirotank offered compartmented FRP tanks, splitting single tanks into two, three and four compartments. This innovative design allowed for costs to be significantly lowered, not just in the cost of tanks but also in the costs associated with installing the tanks and lowering the total fuel system and site build costs.
In 1995, Envirotank supplied the very first double wall FRP tank sold in the Southern Hemisphere to a major oil that included ‘HydroGuard®’ an interstitial tank integrity monitoring system. Only Envirotank Double-Wall Tanks provide a 360° defined interstitial space that constantly monitors 100 per cent of both the inner and outer surfaces of the tank including the internal bulkheads.
All Envirotanks are now supplied with a factory installed HydroGuard® Monitoring System, a coloured water-based monitoring fluid. The fluid is dark blue in colour and is preinstalled at the factory and is used to perform visual leak testing during shipment and during installation at the jobsite.
Envirotank recommends the HydroGuard® Monitoring System because it offers a leak detection capability that is superior to other methods. It constantly monitors 100 per cent of both the inner and outer walls under all installed conditions.
In another first, 1997 saw another refinement by Envirotank when it introduced an engineered and third party rated polyester hold down strapping system designed to improve site safety by reducing ‘in hole’ time and working on the tank tops which, also lowered the supply cost and lowered install times.
As Envirotank grew, the number of steel tank manufacturers declined due to rising costs and a shrinking market. By 1999 FRP UST’s were the first choice in the market and specified by all major oil companies and many independents.
In just 10 years, Envirotank had achieved a reputation of providing a proven integrated engineered solution to any situation combined with quality manufacturing and a customer first attitude, something that has continued to this day.
By the early 2000s Envirotank had become the market share leader with a growing reputation for quality, reliability, service and cost-effective pricing.
In yet another first, 2001 saw Envirotank approved as the first underground FRP tank manufacturer worldwide to be approved for the storage of aviation products by a major oil that included its Hydroguard® Monitoring System.
Envirotank is always looking for further opportunities that can utilise its FRP expertise and industry knowledge and in response to its customer base in 2014, Envirotank entered into a licence agreement with UK-based company Premier Tech, a leading producer of sewage plant, wastewater treatment and environmental equipment.
Through that agreement Envirotank introduced the Clereflo Oil/Water Separator to the Australian market, providing the market with a cost-effective choice for forecourt stormwater treatment devices.
As Envirotank celebrates 30 years in the Australian market and now being the longest continuously operating petroleum storage tank manufacturer in Australia and New Zealand, they proudly look back at the 10,000 tanks and 25,000 plus compartments supplied to the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Rim markets with pride, knowing that they continue to perform, day-in and day-out, with incredible reliability and peace of mind for their owners.
“To all our valued customers, new and long term, a very big ‘tank you’ from the Envirotank team and we look forward to another 30 years of customer first service!”
This article originally appeared in the February/March issue of Convenience & Impulse Retailing Magazine.