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Maintaining smooth operations on the Forties pipeline system

Published by
World Pipelines,

Amec Foster Wheeler has announced that work is nearing completion on a major new refrigeration plant at BP’s Grangemouth site that will help maintain efficient operations across the Forties pipeline system.

Amec Foster Wheeler is providing engineering, installation, project, construction and supply chain management services for the Kinneil liquid petroleum gas (KLPG) chilldown project located at BP’s refrigerated liquid petroleum gas (RLPG) site in Grangemouth, Scotland. Amec Foster Wheeler’s completions and commissioning specialist, qedi, is providing commissioning support for the project.

Jim Lenton, Amec Foster Wheeler’s Interim President Northern Europe and CIS, said: “We are proud to deliver this project for BP using our leading brownfield and onshore engineering experience and expertise. We have been working with BP at Grangemouth since the 1970s and we are delighted to have been a part of an impressive collaboration to successfully maintain the efficiency of the Forties pipeline system."

Mark Thomas, BP’s Regional President for the North Sea, said: “The UK-based engineering services industry offers a wealth of expertise and capability, which is being demonstrated through the safe and efficient delivery of this complex project. It is great to see so many companies from all parts of the UK working together to contribute towards a project that will, once complete, maintain efficient operations across the Forties pipeline system for many years to come.”

The RLPG plant currently operates with R22, a colourless, refrigerant gas. EU legislation requires the replacement of R22 and Amec Foster Wheeler provided the conceptual design study identifying R410a as a suitable more environmentally friendly and efficient replacement refrigerant. Refrigeration is required to chill the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to enable storage and eventual transportation by ship to market. Without refrigeration, the Forties pipeline system would be unable to operate.

The UK supply chain has played a vital role in this project with BP and Amec Foster Wheeler drawing on the capabilities of a highly skilled local workforce to achieve successful delivery.

Fife-based Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) handled the bulk of the fabrication work for the project, building the six pre-assembled units (PAUs) that will form the core of the new plant. These were transported to the RLPG site from BiFab’s Burntisland base along the River Forth, making an impressive sight as they passed under the Forth bridges. The PAUs – each weighing over 100 t – have now been installed onsite. Also complete is the installation of pre-assembled racks (PARs), also constructed by BiFab, for hydrocarbon pipework connections to the existing plant.

Hook-up and commissioning of the plant is now well under way with the plant expected to be operational in summer 2017.

Other key UK contracts for the BP KLPG Chilldown project include:

  • Darlington-based Mech-Tool Engineering Ltd (MTE) supplied fire and blast relief walls and specialist fire louvers.
  • Scotland-based Global Energy Group supplied the tie-in spools, which were fabricated in Aberdee.
  • Glasgow-based Honeywell Control Systems supplied the integrated control and safety systems.
  • Bradford-based Powell UK supplied switchgear.
  • Aberdeen-based Panalpina World Transport provided mechanical transportation.
  • Mammoet UK Ltd provided marine transportation.
  • Glasgow-based Luddon Construction for Civil Engineering.
  • Bolton-based Harry Peers supplied steel erection.
  • Grangemouth-based Actavo supplied pipework insulation and painting.
  • Grangemouth-based PFP Contracting supplied passive fire protection.
  • Aberdeen-based IKM supplied pressure testing and bolt tensioning.

In all, the KLPG chilldown project has helped sustain over 500 jobs in the local economy.

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