Nustar EnergyCompany:Volcanic Heater Inc. (

Customer: NuStar Energy, St. Eustatius

Installation: Customized heavy oil-fired helical coil heating system

Completion: 2011

Objective: Design a robust heating system for heavy oil storage.

Work Completed: Volcanic worked very closely with NuStar project engineers to design a customized heating system for an oil storage terminal in St. Eustatius, a small island in the Dutch Caribbean. The unit, which has 2,500 square feet of heating surface, weighs 68,000 pounds, and measures nearly 50 feet long by 9 feet tall, was the largest ever manufactured at Volcanic’s Ohio-based facility.

Volcanic designed the robust heating system to both offset significant heat loss and to add temperature to heavy oil storage in a short period of time. The multi-tank system included a 30,000-gallon heavy oil storage tank with finned heating coils under normal operation, electric immersion heaters for cold startup, and mixers to enhance heat transfer. Volcanic also furnished a ModSync® Control system from Synex Controls to operate the heaters on a lead-lag system for maximum efficiency, and to enable communication and control of the units from the terminal control room located a half mile away.

Due to soot produced as a result of burning heavy oil, Volcanic engineered a coil that could slide out of the unit to be cleaned and inspected regularly.

Publication date: 12/26/2011