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Alpha Process Controls awarded SIL 2 certification for Marine ERC

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LNG Industry,

Alpha Process Controls has announced that it has achieved the Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2 certification for its Marine emergency release coupling (ERC).

The Marine ERC was awarded the certification after proving its consistent ability to prevent loss of product during the transfer of hazardous materials, including LNG fuel.

The ERC uses a mechanical release activation, as opposed to a hydraulic release activation. It also features a two-stage operation that enables the controlled shutdown of internal valves and the coupling separation. The ERC coupling can be operated mechanically or through a remote operator activated switch.

According to the statement, the ERC can also be specified with a pre-ESD1 alarm, which detects ship separation, and can be linked to the ship’s ESD1 shutdown process. This safety feature complements the ERC’s innovative, inbuilt damping system to reduce the effects of pressure spikes should the coupling be called upon to separate during full flow transfer. This would typically occur in the case of a vessel drifting off during LNG transfer.

Having already secured Class approval, the Marine ERC is available in sizes from 4 to 10 in. in diameter, and also meets BS EN 1474-1 (2008) Installation and equipment for Liquefied Natural Gas – Design and Testing of Marine Transfer Systems. This recognised industry standard further demonstrates the efficacy of the system.

Alpha Process Controls claims that the assessment and certification was carried out by UK consultancy Technis, led by Dr David J Smith, BSc, PhD, CEng, FIEE, FIQA, HonFSaRS, MIGasE. Smith has over 40 years of experience in reliability and risk assessment and technical training courses. A previous President of the Safety and Reliability Society, David chairs the Chartered Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) panel, which develops guidelines on safety-related systems, and was a founder member of the Safety Critical Systems Committee of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now IET).

He has amassed one of the largest failure rate and failure mode data banks in the reliability profession and has developed six unique software packages that provide reliability data, reliability calculations and optimum maintenance strategies.

John Lamb, Managing Director of Alpha Process Controls, said: “Achieving the SIL 2 rating further underpins the reliability of our Marine ERC, giving operators additional confidence that our technology can safely and reliably be part of ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore LNG transfers.

“It is testament to the expertise of our designers and engineers, alongside our extensive and continual research and development programmes that we have achieved such a respected reliability performance standard.”

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