Remote tank cleaning equipment

Specially trained workers cleaning bulk storage tanks for oil, chemical or radioactive waste are exposed to several serious health risks, including potentially fatal exposure to hazardous substances. Therefore, to continue working in such confined spaces, extra health and safety measures must be implemented to protect staff. One of the most successful is to use specially manufactured remotely operated machines. These are a viable cost-effective alternative that reduces the need for humans to carry out the most dangerous work.

RSK company Non Entry Systems Ltd (NESL) has been designing, manufacturing and supplying automated equipment for cleaning bulk storage tanks and lagoons and re-suspending and treating sludge for over 40 years. Its clientele is based around the globe and the company has a well-earned reputation for innovation and reliability.

Four decades of expertise

NESL began as a small unit in the 1980s in Maesteg, South Wales. After the manufacture of its first product, the company quickly gained a reputation for its innovative and niche cleaning machines and technology. NESL equipment is deployed in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Eurasia and it counts both the US government and Veolia among its clientele.

Owing to its research-led ethos and innovative manufacturing department, NESL uses cutting-edge technology to design, manufacture and supply its products. Employing 15 specialists, it carries out welding fabrication, machining, electrical design, installation and quality assurance in-house. The company’s workshop acts as an experimental landscape to produce the machines and equipment.

Repeat clients have consistently praised the company’s efficient work rate and in-house manufacturing facilities and NESL has an impressive history that includes projects on every major continent.

Designing and manufacturing modern solutions

Clients requiring tank cleaning are diverse and come from various sectors and industries, including oil refineries, government agencies, large and small contracting firms and tank farm operators. They all want to achieve immediate and essential goals: to clean tanks in compliance with regulations and to modernise and safeguard their working practices and locations.

The benefit of using NESL is that the company was founded by tank cleaners that build equipment for tank cleaners. As such, they know the business from both a manufacturer and a cleaner’s perspective and are excellently placed to provide what clients need. This includes an understanding of the necessity of meeting strict deadlines and the need to study the latest data to prepare for changes to regulations.

At the forefront of innovation

NESL’s first product was a crawler, or bulldozer, for cleaning the inside of a crude oil tank. It quickly proved successful and effective, which has enabled the company to grow and expand its operations to become a market leader. The company can not only offer tank cleaning equipment but also lagoon and catch pit equipment, treatment plans, pumps and ancillary equipment. When a client needs a one-off item for a specific situation, NESL can provide custom designed-and-built equipment to handle the problem.

An excellent example of this is when a client approached the company needing the ability to clean pipes with diameters from 26” to 36”. Designed with this particular pipeline in mind, NESL created the TLM (Three-Legged Monster): a three-tracked vehicle capable of advancing up to 500 ft of pipe before having to return or be removed from the other end. Further attachments enable it to be used for the cleaning, coating and inspection of pipes.

Connecting with our group-wide services

RSK’s philosophy involves providing clients with linked services under one organisation to mitigate complications arising from outsourcing and to reduce the margin of error. A service does not have to be stand-alone, it can be reinforced and multiplied by the group’s collective power.

Our tank cleaning capabilities are complemented by our other related services in the oil and gas, nuclear and chemical sectors. Our multifaceted group of over 100 companies with offices all over the world means that we have the scope to offer this service to whoever needs it across the globe. By providing this service, we are reducing the health and safety risk to human operators while also driving innovation across the tank cleaning industry.

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Our Expertise

  • Tank cleaning and sludge handling equipment

    Over the years, NESL has perfected the equipment required to move vast quantities of sludge. We are able to provide several different machines for tank cleaning and sludge handling, including:

    NESL Mover (sit and ride dozer) – a zero-man entry for tank cleaning operations

    Manway Cannon – A zero-man entry for tank cleaning and de-sludging operations

    NES ROV – a remotely operated dozer controlled by an operator outside the tank

    MOVCAN (remotely operated vehicle (ROV) tracked cannon) – this system is available as an add-on for the Manway Cannon system or as a containerised stand-alone system

    NESL Weir Tanks – The NESL Weir Tank system works solely with the NESL cannon system and reduces the waste produced during any tank cleaning operation.

  • Treatment plants

    The ASTS (Advanced Sludge Treatment System) has been developed in collaboration with a leading UK contractor and is so new it is currently the only one of its kind.

  • Pumps

    NESL lobe pump

    Manufactured and certified in accordance with the current ATEX directives, these come supplied for use in hazardous areas designated Group 2 Category II.

    NESL diesel pump units

    Working with a leading UK pump manufacturer, NESL can supply diesel pump units to the client’s specification for a range of duties. All Tanksweep pumps are built specifically to our requirements and use an uprated wet end and seals.

  • Ancillary equipment

    NESL hydraulic power packs

    The NES402 series diesel-driven hydraulic power packs are designed for the simple, trouble-free operation of a wide variety of NESL standard equipment.

    NESL steam boilers

    This is a stand-alone boiler, custom built into an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) twenty-foot container. Units are built complete with on-board fuel tanks, chemical dosing system and blow-down facility.

    NESL nitrogen generators

    Producing your own nitrogen is easy, cheaper and can give clients a competitive advantage. This on-site generator from NESL gives 24-hour access to nitrogen – a low-cost, environmentally friendly solution.

  • Lagoons and API separator equipment

    On many refinery sites, it is common for tank bottoms to be transferred to on-site lagoons and catch pits, and at some point, the sludge at the bottom of these pits will need to be removed, which can be costly. What most clients don’t realise is the value of the oil entrained in the sludge. To enable clients to recoup the value of the oil, we have designed the NESL Lagooner. The Lagooner vehicle is lowered into the lagoon/pit, where it mixes and then pumps the slurry to a sludge treatment plant such as the ASTS (Advanced Sludge Treatment System).

  • Custom equipment

    If you have a specific problem that you need help overcoming, we can research, design and build custom equipment to solve your issue.


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