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T.D. Williamson has helped to confirm the integrity of a key natural gas pipeline in the UK

World Pipelines,

T.D. Williamson UK (TDW), a global provider of pipeline services and equipment, announced that the integrity of a key pipeline in England has been confirmed as the result of an inline inspection operation carried out for E.ON UK. 

The operation on the Blyborough to Cottam pipeline follows closely on the heels of an equally successful April 2011 inspection of a line stretching from Burton Point AGI to Connah’s Quay Power Station. That operation was especially delicate given the proximity of an important nature reserve.

The latest operation involved a 24 in. pipeline that transports natural gas from the National Grid Gas Blyborough NTS junction through E.ON UK's Blyborough installation to a pressure reduction centre located at the Cottam Power Station in England. The pipeline then delivers gas to the Cottam Development Centre (CDC). In total, the pipeline stretches 23.4 km.

Both of these operations were carried out as part of a multi-site contract awarded to TDW by E.ON in August 2010. These operations support E.ON’s strategic program to ensure the integrity of its pipelines and assets.

Integrity confirmed

The recent pigging and inline inspection confirmed the integrity of the pipeline, but did reveal the presence of condensate and 'compressor oil' forming an organic mixture. Upon receipt of this information, E.ON asked TDW to institute an extended cleaning program to remove this material from the pipeline. TDW used RealSeal® cups on the cleaning pigs, a process that was so successful that it brought out more than the anticipated quantities of effluent. E.ON was so impressed with the efficiency of these cups that they are keen to use them for routine periodic cleaning of this pipeline.

“We were delighted by how TDW was able to handle every aspect of this complicated inspection with perfect efficiency and careful attention to our specific needs,” said Andy Skinn, Gas Pipelines Team Leader - Killingholme Power Station for E.ON. “Obviously, we had come to expect this level of professionalism after the inspection completed in the nature reserve in April, but TDW still managed to exceed our highest expectations.”

E.ON firmly committed to pipeline safety, efficiency and integrity

The CDC is a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) with a generation capacity of 400 MW. Capable of delivering 13 000 A at 21 000 V, the plant uses single shaft technology and is designed to run at high efficiency levels. It was constructed with the aim of developing the next generation of CCGT technology and has achieved great improvements in the efficiency of its gas turbine, further reducing emissions from the site. 

The pipeline and above ground installations are wholly owned by E.ON UK and are monitored continuously by its 24-hour monitoring team based at Westwood, Coventry. As a part of its strategic program to ensure the integrity of its pipelines and assets, E.ON awarded this multi-site ILI contract to TDW. With deep customer commitment, TDW delivered a range of new capabilities and ensured satisfaction through its professionalism and operational excellence. 

A wide range of expertise

A wide range of TDW expertise was brought to bear on this project, including surveying the site; specific pigging procedures; method statements and risk assessments; proving, gauging and cleaning; ILI data analysis; and fitness for purpose (FFP) reporting. A number of high-resolution inspection tools were deployed, among them the deformation (DEF) tool for geometric anomaly inspection, and the gas magnetic flux leakage (GMFL) tool for corrosion inspection.

Using resources and equipment from the T.D. Williamson Centre of Excellence in Swindon, and by partnering with sub-suppliers, TDW efficiently carried out the work was with no disruption to the normal operation of the pipeline. By taking advantage of the gamut of TDW expertise, E.ON received an inspection with which they could feel completely confident.

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