Hima helps Inpex keep Ichthys LNG project safe

May 5, 2016
Safety equipment includes control cabinets with fire and gas protection systems, high-integrity pressure-protection systems, and connections to all relevant facilities

To maintain safe operations at its huge, new Inhthys LNG project in Australia, Inpex Corp. recently secured process safety assistance from Hima Paul Hildebrandt GmbH. The Tokyo-based oil and gas firm reports that Ichthys is opening the largest discovery of liquid hydrocarbons off the coast of Australia in 40 years. It includes 50 underwater drilling holes that connect natural gas and condensate deposits with a floating production, storage and offloading platform (FPSO). From there, an almost 900-km pipeline sends gas and condensates to a Inpex’s central processing facility in Darwin. By the end of 2016, Inpex expects to extract 8.4 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Asian markets.

Safety engineering equipment and services provided by Hima include 430 control cabinets with fire and gas (F&G) protection systems, high-integrity pressure-protection systems (HIPPS) and connections to all relevant facilities. Before starting their contract, HIMA experts and the basic process control system (BPCS) supplier tested and validated Ichthys’ hardware and software functions. The Hima team dealt primarily with engineering and the design. Its aim was to clarify specifications to minimize subsequent plan corrections and added time needed.

“For HIMA, the key challenge is not the spatial and technical size of the project or the material used. Rather, it was the coordination across national borders and cultural differences,” says Dieter Specht, technical project director at HIMA. “Other important factors include a strict time schedule between engineering input and acceptance, as well as additional design modifications that must be made in time for subsequent operations. Project management coordinated from Bruehl synchronized the numerous interrelated process steps over several years, enabling successful implementation.”

The onshore and offshore facilities and the pipeline are connected to a total of 25,000 safety-related I/O points. Safe networking was implemented using Hima’s safeethernet protocol. Cybersecurity and network management included installation of associated hardware and components such as smoke detectors in employee living quarters. Numerous workstations and servers, along with an additional recovery system, are other components of the safety solution.

Beyond ensuring safety, HIMax safety controllers from HIMA provide uninterrupted systems operations to maximize system availability and productivity. The safety systems comply with IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 standards and meet SIL 3 and SIL 4 requirements. HIMA Planar4 controllers used on the project can achieve SIL 4, the highest possible safety standard, in compliance with IEC 61508.

In Singapore, function tests of all safety systems were performed on more than 1,200 control cabinets. In addition to the cabinets supplied by HIMA, 800 cabinets were supplied by the BPCS supplier and contractual partners. At the same time, safety engineering activities were distributed over three floors: one floor each for the semi-submersible platform, the liquefaction facility and the onshore facility.