The world’s first remotely monitored, impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) system for protecting liquid petroleum gas (LPG) storage bullets from corrosion was recently installed at Sunrise Energy, Africa’s largest LPG import terminal. The project was carried out by Electrical Manufacturing, designed by Isinyithi Cathodic Protection Engineering Consultants on behalf of Sunrise Energy.
The system safely protects LPG storage bullets from corrosion and provides remote monitoring capabilities so engineers can monitor system performance in dangerous or difficult-to-access areas of the facility.
Sunrise Energy houses 5500 metric tonnes 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.
“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.
For more information on how to implement cathodic protection in hazardous environments like those involved in the Sunrise Energy project, get in touch with Omniflex on +27 31 207 7466.