An international standards organization’s seal of approval puts a local industry at the forefront of the booming Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling industry.
Environmental Tank & Container, a division of Johnstown Welding and Fabrication, has obtained pressure vessel certification from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the company announced.
The certification follows the American Petroleum Institute’s certification last year for another line of tanks and positions Environmental Tank’s expansion into supplying another phase of gas and oil production, company President and CEO Bill Polacek said.
The new certification allows the company to begin producing tanks and containers rated to withstand pressures up to 5,000 pounds per square inch, Polacek said. The first new product is a “gas buster” for Marcellus drilling sites.
The gas busters, or gas separators, remove sand and other solids from the liquid oil/water mix that comes out of the wells, along with the gas.
“As the gas comes out at high pressure, any of the ‘heavies’ like the sand float to the bottom with the fluids,” Polacek said.
Not only must the separator contain the gas and pressure, it must withstand the sandblasting effect of the sand, he added.
The ASME certification requires independent inspections of all Environmental Tank’s qualified tanks, including X-rays of the welds to assure strength and durability, he said.
“We are very proud of this achievement and it reflects the dedication of our organization and the strong commitment that we as a company have made to the ASME standards,” Polacek said.
The certification opens new areas for the 2-year-old Environmental Tank company beyond the drilling industry, he stressed.
“Anything up to 5,000 PSI, we can build,” Polacek said.
That’s in addition to the huge holding tanks already being produced and marketed, thanks to the API certification. Tanks with capacities up to 3.3 million gallons are produced at the Environmental Tank plant, located at 163 Cramer Pike in West Taylor Township.
There are about 100 people working at the plant, including at least 75 new jobs and 25 who transfered from other Johnstown Welding plants, Polacek said.
For each manufacturing job, approximately another four jobs are created in other local businesses, Polacek said.
Companies boosted by Environmental Tank’s growth include Samuel Plate Processing on Iron Street, BCL Manufacturing Inc. of Windber, Dale Oxygen on Horner Street and RNDT Inc. on Maple Avenue.
Randy Griffith is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/photogriffer57.