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The new safety journey in a decarbonising world

ON DEMAND - Watch this webinar and learn more on how you can help the environment by managing your LNG facility with support of the latest product innovations from MSA.

LNG is often referred to as a bridging technology in that it can be used to replace more polluting carbon products, such as coal and oil, on the pathway to wholly renewable energy consumption by 2050.

Whilst various LNG standards have been published to ensure that basic safety levels are implemented and then maintained, these should be seen as being minimum requirements rather than an absolute goal.

In addition to ensuring the ongoing safety, integrity and economic success of the plant, Managers are now facing additional challenges of more stringent requirements to monitor and record emissions to the atmosphere as part of greenhouse gas strategies cascaded down from Corporate Policy. How best to meet these new challenges in a greenfield environment requires new thinking regarding the Integrated Control and Safety Systems space, and for brownfield sites, how can new and innovative technologies be deployed whilst minimising both OPEX and CAPEX?

Despite witnessing a reduction in reported Lost Time Injuries, minor and major incidents and unplanned trips, industry is correct to maintain the mantra of “it is not if, it is when.” Health and Safety Executive (HSE) UK reports indicate that up to 40% of all releases of gas that present a minor hazard remain undetected and therefore unreported.

In order to reduce and eliminate these instances and therefore increase protection for the personnel, the asset and the reputation of the company, companies need to seek complementary technologies to add to their existing layers of protection to augment, rather than replace, their safety systems.

Failures to maintain, adapt, and improve the installed base have directly led to incidents occurring, resulting in major accidents, regulatory fines, and potentially imprisonment.

Advanced sensing technologies such as infrared or laser-based gas detection are available, and these provide a much faster speed of response to gas releases in comparison to more traditional catalytic or semiconductor technologies. They also often have a lower cost of ownership due to the requirement for less frequent testing.

The risk profiles within an LNG environment are diverse and therefore systems that deploy diverse, complementary, and early hazard detection technologies are able to respond quickly and provide rapid initiation of safety systems.

A successful detection leading to a safe shutdown procedure ensures that the risks of further escalation are ameliorated, preventing equipment or property damage, personal injury, and loss of life.

Compared to just 20 - 30 years ago, when only simple catalytic bead detectors were the standard in fixed gas detection for natural gas, there has been a steady development into more advanced detectors and sensors. New technologies engineered by MSA include:

  • Enhanced laser diode spectroscopy in open path detectors.
  • Advanced and digitalised sensors with self-maintenance capabilities for point detectors.
  • Ultrasonic Gas Leak Detectors for compressed gas.

These combined technologies work together to enhance the overall safety performance of a gas detection system.


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