Removing the old holding tank

A crew demolishes an 84-year-old holding tank on Thursday at Petro Marine Services on Stedman Street. The diesel fuel storage tank built in 1936 is about 90 feet in diameter and stands about 30- feet tall. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

A steel storage tank built in 1936 to hold approximately 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel is being demolished to make way for a larger-capacity tank at the Petro Marine Services facility in Ketchikan.

The contractor T Bailey Inc. from Washington state has begun dismantling the 84-year-old, riveted-steel tank, according to Kris Hall, the Ketchikan plant manager with Petro Marine Services. Pool Engineering of Ketchikan is hauling the old tank material to its Ward Cove facility.

The tank, which is 90 feet in diameter and 30 feet tall, was constructed with one-half-inch thick steel plating, said Hall.

“The shell thickness is a half-inch, but on riveted tanks, they have lap joints, so the maximum thickness is one inch,” he said.

The old tank had been in use up until about two weeks ago, according to Hall.

It will be replaced by a steel tank with a diameter of 80 feet, a height of 40 feet, and a capacity of about 1.8 million gallons of diesel fuel.

The half-inch steel shell will be welded rather than riveted.

“Totally different (construction),” said Hall. “So the standards are a lot more stringent these days.”

The new tank will be built by T Bailey Inc.

Although it was 84 years old, the tank being replaced isn’t the longest-serving tank at the Petro Marine Services facility.

 “Our oldest tank was built in 1914, and it's still in service,” Hall said.