Protecting critical infrastructure from corrosion

2nd June 2021
Posted By : Lanna Deamer
Protecting critical infrastructure from corrosion

Omniflex has helped deliver the world’s first remotely monitored Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) system for protecting Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage bullets from corrosion. The project was carried out by Electrical Manufacturing, designed by Isinyithi Cathodic Protection Engineering Consultants on behalf of Sunrise Energy, Africa’s largest LPG import terminal. 

The system delivered allowed Sunrise Energy to safely protect LPG storage bullets from corrosion and added remote monitoring capabilities so engineers could monitor system performance in dangerous or difficult-to-access areas of the facility.

Sunrise Energy houses 5500 metric tonne of explosive LPG, so the ICCP system installed must be intrinsically safe, suitable for use in hazardous environments and fully compliant with South Africa’s SANS 60079 standards. Isinyithi designed a system that operated using low voltages and currents, limiting the amount of electrical energy available as an ignition source. Furthermore, the system needed to have remote monitoring capabilities because a large quantity of assets that needed monitoring are either situated in hazardous areas or are difficult-to-access.

“Traditionally, to ensure an ICCP system was functioning correctly, businesses would have to rely on physical inspections of difficult-to-access infrastructure,” explained Ian Loudon, International Sales and Marketing Manager at Omniflex. “For Sunrise Energy, where the containers storing explosive LPG are underground, it is difficult or often impossible to physically inspect CP systems regularly because of the associated risks.

“Isinyithi approached Omniflex for a low voltage and current, remotely monitored CP system keeping CP engineers informed on the performance status and health of their structures 24/7,” continued Loudon. “The solution provided has several key benefits such as automatic regular testing, long-term cloud-based data logging and alarm condition alerts via SMS and email.”

The system was installed inside the field Marshalling panel with the Human Machine Interface panel in the control room and testing was carried out at Omniflex’s Durban factory prior to shipping to site at Saldahna Bay.

“In the first two years of service, we have not had a single defect in the system Omniflex has provided us,” said Neil Webb, Product Consulting Engineer at Isinyithi. “By cutting down the time, costs and risks associated with physical CP inspections in these hazardous areas, we have been able to provide an excellent service for our end-customers."

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