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Alpha Process Controls launches ship-to-ship LNG transfer arrestor system

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LNG Industry,

Alpha Process Controls has expanded its LNG ship-to-ship (STS) transfer technology with the launch of a specialist Fall Arrest System (FAS).

Alpha Process Controls launches ship-to-ship LNG transfer arrestor system

The new braked, cable-activated STS and Emergency STS arrestor systems complement Alpha’s existing package of ship-to-ship and ship-to-jetty transfer equipment, which includes emergency-release collar (ERC) couplings, manifold reducers, hose saddles and flexible hoses.

The FAS is a braking cable system that is attached to the ERC itself, on the outboard half, which is the coupling half that goes overboard in an ERC separation.

Alpha’s ERC system features a mechanical two-stage operation that enables the controlled shutdown of internal valves (ESD1) and the coupling separation (ESD2). Through controlled shutdown of the ERC coupling, even at high flow rates, pressure surges are maintained to a level without compromising pipework or pumps in the event of a vessel drift-away. 

The primary function of the FAS is to control the descent of the split ERC and flexible hose assembly as it is guided by the hose saddles over the side of the vessel and into the sea.

The system is installed in the saddle area and the FAS cable unwinds as soon as the ERC splits.  The cable release is slowed by a permanently enclosed oil brake within the FAS body.

The oil can be selected for the ambient temperatures of the region, which ensures that no oil heating system is required.

This means that the complete package of Alpha Process Controls LNG STS equipment can be used in any climate of the world, from arctic conditions to tropical, with all components designed for the arduous conditions of the marine environment.

This new development draws on the advanced in-house design and manufacturing knowledge that North East England-based Alpha Process Controls has developed as part of the GT Group and with the strong backing of its parent company, the rail and commercial vehicle braking systems leader, Knorr Bremse.

John Lamb, Managing Director of Alpha Process Controls, said: “The Fall Arrestor System is our latest innovation to support safe emergency coupling breakaways in STS LNG transfer operations.   It is part of a range of UK-designed and built solutions that ensure safe operations and limited service requirements in shipping LNG transfers. 

“Our simple and effective use of cable release mechanisms in our couplings, which is enhanced by the use of the FAS, offers real benefits for STS transfer scenarios by keeping the vessel and its crew safe during an emergency breakaway situation and reducing operational downtime.”

Read the full article here: Fraser Bennie, Alpha Process Controls, UK, examines the role of the fall arrestor in LNG ship-to-ship transfers.

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