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Featured Projects

Navigating Millions in Pounds of Carbon and Stainless Steel

Sasol Chemicals

In 2015, Sasol Chemicals tripled their U.S. production and built a world-scale chemical complex, adjacent to their existing plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. While expanding and adding chemical production lines, Sasol Chemicals also installed an ethane cracker, set to produce 1.5 million tonne of ethylene annually. Overall, this project is projected to cost $10 billion. Powering this vision forward, Caldwell provided 41 Field-Erected, Steel Welded Tanks. 

To tackle a project this size, we built a wide range of tank sizes and styles; made out of different materials and spread out over the five-square-mile plant. Our scope included the following features: 

  • Tank design 
  • Fabrication
  • Erection
  • Tank Coatings
  • Tank Insulation
  • Passivation
  • Eductor and Steam Heater Design and Install 
  • Foundation Installation
  • Mechanical Equipment Installation
  • Aluminum Internal Floating Roofs 

Overall, we used 7,000,000 pounds of Carbon Steel, 1,000,000 lbs of Stainless Steel, and built a combined storage of over 22,000,000 gallons. 

For the Ethylene Glycol Tanks, we built seven carbon steel tanks. We designed these tanks with a total capacity of 2,500,000 gallons, requiring no tank internals. Additionally, considering the chemicals stored inside the tanks, Caldwell added a heavy duty two-coat, epoxy novolac coating system. These tanks ranged in size from 52 feet by 48 feet to 25 feet by 16 feet; each with a carbon steel and dome roof. 

For the Chemical Storage Tank Terminal, we built 24 carbon steel tanks. Whether creating a 77-foot by 48-foot tank to a 23-foot by 24-foot tank, these ranged in size, offering Sasol Chemicals a total capacity of over 17,000,000 gallons. Caldwell created these tanks to be a mix of Self-Supported Dome Roof, Self-Supported Cone Roof, and Supported Cone Roof Tanks. Insulating the majority of these tanks with polyisocyanurate, we made sure to add two coats of epoxy phenolic under the insulation. For any uninsulated tanks, Caldwell provides a three-coat system of zinc, epoxy, and polyurethane.  

For the Ethylene Unit Tanks, we constructed 10 stainless steel tanks; some scaling to 48-foot by 50-foot heights with others ranging to 15-foot by 26-foot heights, equipping Sasol Chemicals with a total capacity of 2,000,000 gallons. These tanks were all created with Dome Roof support. We made two of the tanks with an exterior Carbon Steel Shell Roof and Bottom for double containment. 

To successfully deliver these tanks and a successful site meant doing so amidst other moving pieces; for instance, we navigated this project while other construction (billions of dollars worth) was also underway. Coordinating with the other contractors on the site, we opted to build multiple tanks in an off-site laydown yard, using large equipment to move completed tanks across the site, then setting them in place. For the coatings, we used a Wet Ring Blasting system. This enabled us to reduce any issues presented by construction projects that might result from uncontained blasting. Moreover, it offered us a more efficient process than power tool cleaning. 

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Westlake, LA

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Tank Size & Style

41 Chemical Tanks – 26 FBDR, 15 FBCR — CS (Carbon Steel) & 304 SS (Stainless Steel)

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Consulting Engineer


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