Nyhamna: case study
Joint effort across all Align’s divisions will ensure one of the most important energy projects for two countries before the end of 2014.
Align’s role in the expansion of the Nyhamna gas treatment plant near Molde in mid-Norway is key to a project that has special relevance on both sides of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
In Norway, the plant services the country’s second biggest gas field, Ormen Lange. Nyhamna then pumps 25.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year to the UK through the world’s longest subsea pipeline, the 1 200 km Langeled, providing 20 per cent of that country’s natural gas needs.
With the expansion of Nyhamna underway, the plant will service a new pipeline, Polarled, and convert gas from different fields on the NCS.
The major upgrade of the facilities at Nyhamna and the extra volume of gas coming in and out of the plant creates a need for an upgrade in the technical safety system. Failure could mean major damage to the sites receiving the gas in the UK and elsewhere in Norway. Aligns main contribution to the project is new High Integrity Protection Systems (HIPPS). Additionally, Align install seawater lift pumps and a full range of firefighting equipment on the site, including maintenance and upgrade services to existing installations.
“To handle all that additional volume of gas from the new pipeline, they need to install new High Integrity Pressure Protection (HIPPS) systems,” says Hans Walter Lyngholm, Operations Manager SAS in Origo Solutions. The hipps systems provide the final failsafe to shutdown production if any part of the Nyhamna system gets over pressurised.
“Shell is also installing two booster compressors that will increase the pressure coming from Ormand Lange, and a new export compressor to manage the gas leaving the plant.” All of these require hipps that will be provided, fitted, and maintained by Align.
A big project
“This is a really major undertaking for us,” says Lyngholm. In total the project involves the installation of 14 hipps systems, including 22 hipps valves, 14 instrument manifolds and a total of 42 pressure transmitters.
Fortunately, Align companies delivered the original Ormen Lange project back in 2007 so Lyngholm is familiar with the technicalities involved. “We delivered some hipps systems, installed several in the export compressors that press the gas into the Langeled pipeline that ends in the Easington terminal near Hull in the UK. Then we have installed hipps systems in Easington itself,” he says.
The biggest challenge is that Align will have to install several of the systems at once, before the end of 2014, creating a short window to finish the job, while managing components and some designs from other vendors.
“The benefit for the customer is that he comes directly to us as one major supplier. We have the expertise and ability to carry out the project because our divisions work tightly as a group. Align will support all the different bits because we have documented and certified it so whatever happens to all the different types of equipment, our customers can always come to us and we will support them,” says Lyngholm.
As well as the documentation and certification, Align will have to deal with the design, testing and potential delays such a large project entails, while making realistic demands on its own supply chain.
“Yes. This will test our project management skills,” says Lyngholm. “But that is what we are good at.”