Safeguarding the Integrity of Taiwan’s Unpiggable Pipelines
Location Koahsiung, Taiwan
Project scope Prior to midnight of 31st of July 2014, a series of gas explosions occurred in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung resulted in 32 deaths and injuring 321 others. The blasts rocked the city's Cianjhen and Lingya district, scattering cars and blowing deep trenches in roads. The exact cause of the gas leak was unclear, but reports say the blasts were caused by ruptured pipelines. The city of Kaohsiung is highly industrialized with many pipelines that run underneath and which have never been inspected. Further to this disaster, the government of Taiwan has imposed to all plants and refineries to start inspecting their respective pipelines frequently. A.Hak Industrial Services, among all other inspection companies, was invited to come to Taiwan and propose their method of inspection for unpiggable pipelines in front of all major players.
Our solution After meetings and presentations, A.Hak Industrial Services SEA was awarded the contract to clean, inspect, dewater and dry an 8” x 4.8 kilometer ethylene pipeline.
The result The entire contract was performed successfully within the time frame allocated. A site report was delivered within 72 hours upon completion of inspection. Some severe defects were reported and our specialists were urgently requested to stay back and assist to locate the defects. These defects were precisely located and verified which was used to dig up and replace the defective joint immediately to resume operation.
Pigging the non-piggable
Location Okinawa, Japan
Project scope A.Hak Industrial Services recently saw the successful completion of a special project in Okinawa, Japan. The project involved the inspection of a 12” loading pipeline, from sea to land. A special feature of the 12” line was the 0.9D back-to-back bends housed in a casing. Successfully passing and inspecting this bend would be a world first.
Our solution Following months of negotiation, A.Hak obtained the contract for the construction of a newly developed 12” piglet with the capability to pass the required bend combination. After building the tool, we recreated a test tube at our Tricht facility, to reflect the real-life situation in Japan. A representative from Okinawa visited our facility to view our mock-up and upon approval, the inspection was set to proceed.
The result The inspection in Japan was a great success. Onsite inspection was conducted by A.Hak engineer, Rob van Hees and R&D engineer Daan Stelma, within four days of the project completion.
Integrated services at work
Location Cayenne, French Guyana
Project scope A.Hak Industrial Services’ Push-pull Piglet® inspection system was first introduced during the inspection of a fixed airport hydrant fueling system located at Rochambeau International Airport, in Cayenne, French Guyana.
The main loading line from the kerosene depot to final valve chamber consisted of a 300 meter long section of 8” line, followed by a 70 meter long 10” section. Along the main loading line, a total of eight 6” branch lines, with lengths varying from 4 to 60 meters ran from the main loading line towards aircraft fuel hydrants.
Our solution While the main loading line was inspected by means of the pipeline Piglet® system, our Push-pull Piglet® method was applied for the inspection of the branch lines. Prior to removal of the hydrant valve, the branch line to be inspected was isolated from the main loading line and depressurized. Once the hydrant valve was removed, a temporary valve and an extension spool piece were installed for safety and accessibility purposes, after which the push-pull UT inspection tool was pushed to the end of the branch line.
The most challenging branch line configurations had a total length of 60 meters and required the inspection tool’s passage of a 6” S40 1.5D 90° bend, a 6” S40 equal tee and another 6” S40 1.5D 90° bend located at respectively 3, 35 and 40 meters from the entry point.
The result The branch line inspections were performed during a normal day with the airport hydrant fueling system remaining fully operational. This was with the exception of the single branch lines, which were inspected in consecutive order. The Push-pull Piglet® system performed well and successfully completed the project in two normal working days.
Corrosion growth analyses
Project scope A German refinery requested a Piglet® furnace inspection of coils in a hydrobon furnace which it operated. The furnace had been in service for a long period of time and was identified as Schedule 40.
Our solution Prior to the inspection, the coils were cleaned by our furnace cleaning department. Both the radiant and convection sections of the coils were inspected, utilizing our Piglet® ultrasonic-based intelligent pig technology. General wall thinning caused by internal erosion/corrosion was detected throughout. The material of the convection and radiant coil sections were fabricated with X12CrMo9 and 12CrMo19, respectively. The nominal diameter of the coil was 5” NPS. The furnace had been inspected in April 2008, December 2011, July 2012 and January 2013 and during these inspections the corrosion growth was monitored to extend the lifetime of the furnace for a shutdown in 2014.
The result After the inspection, the customer decided to cut out the worst tube. After it was removed, a third party-certified manual UT inspection company verified our finding and confirmed the minimum wall thickness. The inspection allowed the refinery to operate with confidence until the next shutdown and a better understanding of the assets condition led to improved operations. By knowing the condition of the coils and the heaters operating parameters, the life of the furnace can be calculated and a replacement strategy developed, thus allowing greater plant reliability and occupancy.
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ONE TOTAL CARE SOLUTION
Project scope DMC-1, our partner in pipeline integrity management systems, was contracted in 2009 to deliver a Pipeline Management System to a client operating tanks and pipelines at approximately 80 locations worldwide. This included connections to five locations in The Netherlands. Pipeline Manager was implemented for the management of their outside pipelines, tanks, inside pipelines and other key assets. In total, more than 50 pipelines with a length of over 200 km were incorporated. The key overlays of the system included, topographical data, technical pipeline construction data, route, equipment data and crossing.
Our solution A small central team, together with locally-based management and outside contractors was established to administer responsibility for all risk management and integrity management activities for the company’s infrastructure. The main applications of the system included:
- Management of third party activities
- WION fully automatic online processing of ‘KLIC’ notifications (Mandatory Dutch automated One Call System)
- Risk assessment and management
- Integrity assessment and management
The company’s fully hosted Pipeline Manager System, with additional webserver capabilities, allowed all the responsible parties to work together seamlessly, with access to the same complete, up-to-date information, regardless of their location.
The result The system has been operating successfully for four years, during which time a number of software updates have been installed without difficulty or inconvenience to the client. In order to maintain the knowledge and skills of the software users, the company receives two days of training each year.