Case Studies

Laser Scanning: Vintage Tanks In The Modern Era

Client: McDermott CBI

Project Details

November 2021
Kwinana, WA


Civil Construction & Infrastructure
Oil & Gas


storage tank roof replacement.

Scope & Objectives

BP is in the process of converting operation from a refinery to a storage facility and for this purpose, sealed tanks are required. Most of the tanks located on site are floating roof tanks with a vintage in excess of 60 years. The current project is to identify suitable tanks on site, structurally assess them and design fixed roofs to replace floating roof structures.




Handleys were engaged to:

  • Capture all dimensions of the tank
  • Analyse wall thickness
  • Analyse geometrical shape and tilt of the structure.
  • Provide engineers with details to design suitable roof structures





The Challenge

The tank by nature is confined space with limited internal access, and steep walls. The top is only visible from one location via a staircase.  Nature of tank wall surface and size makes conventional survey techniques difficult to complete.

Our Solution

Our experienced team used laser scanners to capture millions of data points of both the internals, external surfaces and top of tank. Scan data was processed to create a 3D interactive CAD model of the tank. This model could be cut into distinctive layers and each layer was used to determine the following:

  • Geometric best fit shape for each layer
  • Deviation of actual tank wall to best fit geometric shape
  • Wall thickness at each level
  • Combined best fit geometric shape of the tank and actual wall
  • Complete roundness of the walls and top opening
  • Verticality of tank structure.
  • Heatmap showing deviations
  • Roundness evaluation at each level

The Results

Using the results presented in a concise report, the client was able to assess the tank structural integrity based on its framing as well as design a roof structure to fit the unique shape of the tank opening.

Clients expectations were met with a successful solution.

I have used Handley Surveys for the past 10 years and have found them to be very responsive to my requests, very professional in the work they complete and provide advice as required. I am more than happy with the work Handley Surveys completes for me and would have no hesitation in asking them to complete more survey work onsite.

David Donovan
(BP Kwinana)