Safety support for large Australian LNG project

The Ichthys LNG Project

HIMA is at the heart of ensuring safe startup and operations of the Ichthys Liquefied Natural Gas extraction project off the Australian coast.

Energy companies around the world rely on automated safety systems from HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH. “But our scope on Ichthys is much more than just safety systems,” says Dieter Specht, project director for HIMA. “We have worked for several years to synchronise all the steps necessary to ensure safe operations and a successful start-up. In the process, we’ve functioned on a tight time schedule with multiple companies across national borders and cultural differences.”

This type of coordination is essential for a project as enormous and complex as Ichthys. Scheduled for start-up in the third quarter of 2017, the joint venture megaproject is forecast to produce 8.9 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) annually.

Projects of Ichthys’ size and complexity also call for partners and suppliers to work globally. To meet that demand, HIMA offices throughout the world have collaborated closely. Project management is coordinated from Bruehl, while most day-to-day work with fellow project suppliers takes place in Singapore. That’s also where function tests have been conducted on more than 1,200 cabinets supplied by the basic process control system (BPCS) supplier, HIMA and project partners.

Global coordination and local collaboration are crucial for huge energy projects. At Ichthys, HIMA is working closely with the project’s three engineering procurement contractors and the BPCS supplier. At one point, all five companies examined the details of each of 25,000 safety I/Os. That brought forward additional requirements that typically would have been identified during commissioning. That up-front work helped to minimise subsequent plan corrections and related time delays.

Functional safety expertise is an important factor in HIMA’s project approach. The company is applying the principles of IEC 61511 in designing and testing the systems. “We have the expertise and project coordination skills that are valued by operators of all sizes of energy projects,” says Specht.

Along with safety instrumented systems (SIS), fire and gas (F&G) systems and high-integrity pressure protection systems (HIPPS), HIMA is providing 430 control cabinets and related connections. A pre-FID project for developing standard applications, design and testing was supplied in advance to the main contract. Additionally, cybersecurity and network management for associated hardware and components such as smoke detectors in employee living accommodations are part of the scope.

Since the award of the project, Ichthys consortium partner Total awarded two additional FPSO projects to HIMA. The company was selected to provide safety applications.

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