Fuel Storage – Diesel & HVO Plastic Tanks

This week we’re looking at plastic storage tanks and their advantages for bulk storage of diesel fuel or HVO. In this context we’re talking about non-domestic storage, for instance on construction sites, farms, transport depots, rail depots, industrial or commercial premises.

Tanks-UK’s plastic fuel storage tanks are all robustly designed and constructed, and are obviously corrosion resistant. Installed correctly and regularly maintained they should last you many years. Plastic tanks are generally cheaper than steel and more easily installed, being lighter in weight.

What are the requirements you have to meet for storage of fuel on your premises?

Diesel fuel and HVO are not considered to be a serious fire risk, but diesel was reclassified in 2016 in the UK as flammable, having a flashpoint lower than 60oC. This brings it into the scope of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR), which require a risk assessment. However, realistically, the main concerns are environmental – prevention of pollution. Hence for storage of diesel or HVO the tanks must be bunded.

The Oil Storage Regulations will also apply and the Government guidance pages can be accessed HERE.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has a useful regulatory guidance document HSG176 Storage of Flammable Liquids in Tanks  which sets out the requirements, including details of installation and separation distances for multiple tanks. Tanks must meet the relevant British Standard for manufacture – rest assured that all the plastic tanks that Tanks-UK supply meet the required standards.

It is permissible to store diesel fuel indoors (e.g. in a warehouse or farm building) provided certain requirements are met, as it is unlikely that temperatures in normal conditions would reach anywhere near the lowest flashpoint of 55oC. Some fuels will be higher than this as it depends on exact components in the mixture.

What is HVO and how does storage differ from mineral diesel?


HVO stands for hydrotreated vegetable oil.  It is a sustainable, low emission fuel, using refined used vegetable oils to create a paraffinic oil which can be used as an alternative to diesel as a vehicle fuel. The refining process uses hydrogen treatment, which is cleaner than the methane treated oils. Many manufacturers including well-known agricultural and construction machinery brands have approved HVO as an alternative to standard diesel. It is a very environmentally friendly process overall as it not only recycles used oil but is also a much cleaner burning fuel than mineral diesel.  In some cases it is not classified as flammable, so some of the fire regulatory requirements may not apply – but do check this with your supplier first as it does vary and the Safety Data Sheet will indicate this.

HVO can also be used as a heating oil with some modifications to the boilers.

The plastic fuel storage tanks which Tanks-UK supply are able to be used for HVO as well as mineral diesel. However, the fittings may need to be different so please specify if you will be using a tank for HVO storage.

2500L oil tankFire protected tanks

Tanks-UK also supply the Tuffa Fire Protected tanks which can be used in applications where you might otherwise need a fire wall.

Next week we will look at the alternative – steel fuel storage tanks.

Just give us a call on 01953 665940 or email info@tanks-uk.com with your requirements and we’ll send you a quote.