Gaz De France – now GDF Suez is one of Western Europe’s premier natural gas suppliers. As an industry leader, Gaz De France saw an opportunity to invest in innovation through an improved tank application to store liquid natural gas (LNG) with greater flexibility than steel tanks. At that time, commonly used configurations for LNG storage were comprised of a double wall steel tank and included large diameter, low earthen dikes constructed for safety purposes around the tanks. These earthen dikes required a tremendous amount of land impoundment and posed severe safety risks in the event of an accidental spill.
In 1964, the company commissioned PRELOAD to design and construct a prototype prestressed concrete tank to test different material components for LNG storage. One of the material components included an internal lining insulation system, which proved to be very successful with PRELOAD’s prestressed concrete walls and supporting dikes.
This tank became the blueprint for prestressed concrete LNG tanks worldwide. The safety and economy of LNG storage facilities were improved substantially through the use of PRELOAD’s research and designs.