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Coatings come alive: first sprays in a live LNG plant

Coatings come alive: first sprays in a live LNG plant

In November 2011, a major milestone was reached for the coating industry and Wasco, as the company’s corrosion protection subsidiary, Wasco Lindung Sdn Bhd, successfully completed the first thermal spray aluminum coating project in a live plant. It is believed that this is the first of its kind in the world.

Wasco has over 15 years of thermal spray aluminum (TSA) coating application experience, specifically within the oil and gas sector. The company is also one of the leading Shell International approved TSA vendors. For years, oil and gas engineers have been contemplating the application of TSA coating in a live plant, and now arc spraying inside a live plant has been proven possible with Wasco’s recent success.

The asset owner, Brunei LNG (BLNG), and Wasco partnered in applying the TSA coating onto one unit of the external surface of a stainless steel vessel. The equipment, installed and insulated in 1960, has been in service for 41 years. Site visits and inspections showed that after the insulation materials were removed the paint started flaking off.

Some of the challenges the engineering team faced included safety and project execution issues. The team of skilled TSA applicators was led by Wasco’s Senior Project Manager and BGAS-CSWIP certified coating inspector, Lau Hong Kit. The coating system selected was with reference to BLNG’s TSA standard and was carried out in accordance to BLNG’s stringent safety rules and regulations.

Wasco’s TSA applicator En. Zulkefli said “I am honoured to be part of such a challenging project, and despite the difficulties we faced, we successfully applied TSA coating on a live vessel containing LNG.”

Mr Lau, also an Accredited NACE Senior Corrosion Technologist, shared his experience working on this project. “I was informed by BLNG that the vessel was located at a high-risk area. This further emphasised the importance of carrying out a thorough risk assessment in order to ensure the safety of all parties.”

Upon resuming operations, the vessel had a cyclic temperature ranging from -170å¡C to 50å¡C. The coated surface was inspected before and after the icing process and no coating defects were found. The TSA coating bonded well onto the vessel’s external surface.

Wasco and BLNG are proud to have collaborated on this project and its successful on schedule delivery while adhering to stringent safety procedures. The success of this project was attributed to a few factors that included being in full compliance with stringent HSE standards, close teamwork with the client to understand the risk, defining mitigations and having proper site control during execution.

With the success of this first project, Wasco is geared to take on similar TSA projects globally. This milestone has opened up a lot of potential for Wasco. The company is committed to working on the advancement and development of TSA coating expertise.

Upon resuming operations, the vessel had a cyclic temperature ranging from -170å¡C to 50å¡C. The coated surface was inspected before and after the icing process and no coating defects were found. The TSA coating bonded well onto the vessel’s external surface.

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