More than US$-5,2-million-worth of MSA General Monitors (GM) fire and gas detection products and additional systems are currently being supplied to an offshore exploration and production project located in the Republic of Congo.
The deepwater development lies in water depths ranging from 450 m to 1 200 m, and consists of a tension-leg platform (TLP) and a floating production unit (FPU). The 14 600 ton vertically moored floating TLP is used to extract oil and gas and transport it to the 62 000 ton FPU.
The FPU, which measures 250 m in length, 44 m in width and 18 m in depth, will process the oil and gas and send it to onshore plants via subsea pipelines. It boasts a production capacity of 140 000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil and 2,5 million cubic meters per day (mmcm/d) of gas.
A large-scale project such as this requires a considerable amount of gas and flame detectors to ensure the safety of all onsite employees, and to prevent any damage to infrastructure. Bearing this in mind, a range of MSA GM detection products have been commissioned for both the FPU and TLP.
GM is recognised as a global leader in high tech gas monitoring and flame detection instrumentation. GM falls under the umbrella of MSA – a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of sophisticated products that protect people’s health and safety.
MSA’s West Africa channel distribution partner Autochim is responsible for the full supply of the products. Autochim West Africa manager Patrice Meyer reveals that the contract for the TLP was awarded in July 2013, and fully-completed by February 2015.
“The scope of supply for the TLP included; 79 IR4000S point gas detectors, two Chillgard M100 refrigerant gas detectors, 32 FL4000H multi spectrum IR flame detectors, four IR5500 open path gas detectors, two S4100C hydrogen detectors, six loops of linear heat detectors, 49 conventional smoke and heat detectors, two deluge valves skids and 31 manual call points and pull handles,” he states.
Autochim was awarded the contract for the FPU hull in December 2013, and the FPU topsides in July 2014. Meyer reveals that topsides delivery is due for completion in March 2015, while delivery to the hull is expected to be done by April 2015. The scope of supply for the FPU includes;
475 IR4000S point gas detectors; 360 FL4000H multi spectrum IR flame detectors; 92 IR5500 open path gas detectors; three S4000C hydrogen detectors; three Ultima oxygen detectors; 742 standard smoke and heat detectors; 165 manual call points and pull handles; 23 high sensitivity smoke detectors; an Inergen fire suppression system and a water mist detection and fire suppression system; and a CCR group panel with miscellaneous equipment.
MSA Africa product manager for fixed gas and flame detection, Robbie Taitz highlights the fact that it is important that the safety system functions efficiently in the event of an incident occurring at any point in the plant’s operational lifespan. “It is, therefore, essential that safety products comply with internationally recognised Safety Integrity Level (SIL) standards.”
SIL is a measurement of performance required for a safety instrumented function, and is categorised into four ratings; SIL 1, SIL 2, SIL 3 and SIL 4. SIL 4 rated products are almost indestructible, and are used in applications where safety is vital, such as in space programmes. SIL 3 rated products are highly reliable and are most commonly used in hazardous industries such as oil and gas.
Taitz adds that a number of products supplied to the FLP are SIL-rated. “A stand-alone gas detection system and water mist detection system each feature a SIL3 PLC. What’s more, the BV addressable fire system, with 1066 addressable smoke, heat detectors and MAC is SIL2-rated.”
The deepwater development was launched by two international oil giants, which operate a combined 85 percent interest, together with a state-owned entity, which holds a 15 percent interest in the project.
Due to the fact that Autochim has been recognised as a preferred supplier to one of the oil companies for more than 30 years, Meyer notes that no major challenges have been encountered. “The company makes exclusive use of MSA GM products on its onshore and offshore rigs, due to their excellent quality and reliability. This project has proven to be a success to date, and I am confident of doing future business deals in the region,” he concludes.