21 Сентября 2021 | вторник | 14:39

Major Shutdown: Flare System Works

Июля 30, 2021

As part of the major turnaround flare tips are being replaced for the first time in the Sakhalin-2 project. The work is being carried out at two of the Sakhalin Energy assets, the Onshore processing facility (OPF) and the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plant.

“The main part of the flare tip replacement and flare system stack inspection and maintenance scope at the OPF has been accomplished,” according to Denis Lutsev, company’s Onshore Assets Manager. He says that there are two 80-metre-high flares at the OPF, a Low Pressure flare and a High Pressure flare. This equipment has been in service since 2008.
The flare tips weighing over 2 tonnes were replaced at height using a crane with the support of a team of abseilers. The work involved several stages, such as preparing the site, dismantling the old equipment and laying it down to the ground, as well as lifting and installing the new equipment. Besides, new cables, heat insulation, and various attachments were installed on the flare stacks.
Many operations were preceded by on-the-ground training with a mockup flare platform built specifically for that purpose. In addition, rescue training sessions were conducted at height using custom-built dummies, and the flare platform was tested for the ability to withstand stress and excessive loads (exceeding the actual weight of the platform).
In Denis Lutsev’s opinion, all the tasks have been successfully executed. Hot weather was not a problem. A series of measures were taken to safeguard the staff such as providing more opportunities for rest and some additional potable water stations.
In the meantime, the flare tip replacement at the LNG plant is ongoing. The remarkable thing about it is the method for the disassembly of one of the four 125-m-high flare stacks.
“Each flare stack consists of several sections secured to the mainframe and capable of going up and down a set of guide rails. Our course of action? We will separate the lower section of the stack from the flange connections of the main pipeline and carefully put it down. We will then move on to the next section. The procedure will be repeated until the final section with the flare tip is on the ground,” – says Alexander Gusev, Head of Operations at the LNG plant.
No one has climbed at the flare tips since the launch of the plant in 2009, as all routine inspections have been performed solely from the air using special drones.
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