Hortonsphere® Pressure Spheres


We built the world’s first Hortonsphere® pressure sphere in 1923, and our experience in providing this storage solution is unmatched even today. We have built more than 3,500 spheres worldwide. 

Lower cost, higher reliability

Hortonsphere vessels economically and reliably store large volumes of liquids and gases under a wide range of pressure and temperature conditions. Their spherical shape offers uniform stress resistance, which allows the vessels to contain internal pressure. They require less land area yet provide more capacity than other pressure storage vessels, resulting in lower associated costs for piping, foundations, accessories and painting. 

Many industries use Hortonsphere vessels, including oil, gas, petrochemical, chemical and aerospace. They are ideal for ambient temperature liquid, low-temperature liquid, cryogenic liquid and gas storage. They can also serve as processing, testing, containment, surge and vacuum vessels, or hyperbaric or environmental chambers. 

Superior business approach

We deliver projects on a lump sum, turnkey basis, providing single-point responsibility for all phases of the project. This approach reduces the effort and expense that the customer must invest for project oversight. As a true engineering, procurement/fabrication and construction contractor, we have a multinational team of experienced engineers, technicians, supervisors and craftsmen to execute the project from start to finish. Our technical base in design, analysis, testing, metallurgy, welding, material fabrication, project management and construction allows us to provide superior results.

Flexibility in storage

McDermott erects Hortonsphere vessels in the field to provide the most economical solution for the customer. We utilize all-welded metal plate construction, quality materials and overload testing for unparalleled safety and dependability. Once in service, our spheres are essentially oxygen free, which reduces corrosion and the danger of ignition. 

Typical Hortonsphere vessel applications include:

  • Ambient Temperature Liquid Storage—Spheres designed for liquid storage can contain a variety of products such as gasoline, anhydrous ammonia, naphtha, LPG, NGL, butadiene and water. Typical capacities range from 1,000–75,000 barrels.
  • Low Temperature Liquid Storage—Low temperature liquid Hortonspheres offer an economical, partial-refrigeration solution for storing products such as LPG. These spheres feature single walls and external insulation.
  • Cryogenic Temperature Liquid Storage—Spheres designed for cryogenic storage can store products such as ethylene, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, argon and LNG. These spheres feature double walls with an evacuated, perlite-filled annular space.
  • Gas Storage—Hortonsphere vessels can store large quantities of compressed gases, such as hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, helium and argon. They also store digester gas at sewage treatment plants and biogas at landfills.
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