The crude oil is temporarily stored at our tank farm after it is transferred via transfer-pipelines from the tanker pier jetties. Our Wilhelmshaven tank farm offers a total volume of 1.6 million cubic metres, distributed among 26 tanks with approximately 30,000 m³ each and 9 tanks with approximately 100,000 m³ each. These are steel tanks with floating roofs and are equipped with advanced sealing systems using primary, secondary and, in some cases, tertiary seals. All the tanks are 13.5 m high and have a diameter of 55 or 98 metres respectively. Each tank is equipped with all the devices required to ensure safe operation, inspection and maintenance.
The tanks are connected via underground transfer-pipes using centralised remotely controlled piping, and run between both the tanker pier and the tanks themselves, linking them to the pumps which serve the long-range pipelines. In addition the EBV and IVG caverns in Wilhelmshaven and Wittmund are likewise connected to the NWO tank farm.
It is also possible to transfer various grades of crude oil to different parts of the tank farm, in order, for example, to produce particular desired attributes and qualities in the crude oil and feedstock. Furthermore entry or removal of crude oil to and from the caverns in Wilhelmshaven and Wittmund can take place through the tanks. Whichever process is currently in operation, any batch of crude oil entering NWO — be it from a tanker or from a cavern — is first sent through the tanks in order to have its quantity measured before it is pumped into long-range pipelines to Wessling or Hamburg. The most important function of the tank farm is that it acts as a buffer. Using this buffer, cargoes of crude oil from tankers arriving at irregular intervals can be dispatched in batches efficiently, and continuous operation of the long-range pipelines can simultaneously be ensured.