Pipeline Corrosion Highlights Petro.t.ex Africa 2011

June 2011 Vol. 238 No. 6

To highlight the latest developments in corrosion technologies, the Corrosion Institute of Southern Africa (CorrISA) scheduled a one-day technical workshop at Petro.t.ex Africa for June 9 covering the topic of field joint coatings. The Petro.t.ex Africa expo was scheduled for June 7-9 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

The challenge for pipeline engineers is reducing the corrosive effects of the highly aggressive products transported in pipelines, and the harsh operating conditions in which they operate. Welded pipe joints are particularly sensitive to corrosion and field joint coatings are critical to a pipeline’s integrity.

The pipeline-coating market continues to grow, from 120 million square meters in 2004 to more than 200 million square meters in 2009. According to research conducted by Noru Tsalic at Applied Market Information, the market is growing by 15% annually, and innovations and technologies in field joint coatings have had to keep up.

Global Participation
Kevin Garrity, vice president, Integrity Solutions for Mears Group Inc., was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the workshop. An expert in the field of corrosion with more than 37 years of experience, Garrity is the incoming vice president and 2012 President Elect of the Houston-based National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), the largest and most influential corrosion protection institute in the world, with over 25 000 members in more than 100 countries.

The one-day workshop will focus on the pipeline industry with the theme “Field Joint Repair Coatings of Pipelines.” Topics will include an overview of line pipe coatings; challenges facing field joint coatings; offshore pipeline joint coatings; heat-shrink sleeves; liquid coatings; cold applied tapes; hot applied tapes and composite systems.

“The field joint coatings market is estimated at about 5% of the overall pipeline coating market,” explains Neil Webb, former president of CorrISA and a corrosion specialist accredited by the NACE. “That estimate is based on the fact that for every 20 meters of pipe, there is one field joint.”

Webb was to highlight a number of challenges facing the field joint coatings industry. “Field joint coatings, applied on site in very adverse conditions, have to be simple to apply and should be compatible with the pipeline factory coating,” he says.

“Often, the field joint is a weak link in the pipeline corrosion protection system, not due to any products, but due to a lack of awareness, poor application and the human element.”

According to an updated study conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand in 2004, the direct cost of corrosion to the South African economy is estimated at R154 billion per year.

Globally, steel pipelines are used to transport natural gas, crude oil, water, petrochemicals and petroleum products at high pressures over long distances. The Pumps, Valves & Pipes Africa 2011 exhibition and conference, which was to take place alongside Petro.t.ex Africa, will also focus on this sector of the industry.

Pumps Masterclass Offers Practical Workshops
Solutions to corrosion will also be addressed at a two-day Pumps Masterclass running alongside Petro.t.ex Africa.

Ezar Ahrend, business development and marketing manager of Steeltest, a company specializing in non-destructive testing was scheduled to discuss “Techniques and methodologies for more advanced Non-destructive Testing (NDT) detection and repair of pipelines.”

Ahrend was expected to demonstrate ways to recognize different types of corrosion under pipe supports, and present an analysis of Long-range Ultrasonics as a solution to corrosion. Ahrend was also slated to explore Electro-magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) detection solutions, and explain the use of Handy Scan and B-Scan Ultrasonics.

Webb, director of Isinyithi Cathodic Protection, was scheduled to moderate a session entitled, “At the end of construction, are you sure that the only hole in your pipe is the one down the middle?” The core theme was corrosion protection and maintenance of pipelines, and how to prevent damage during construction.

Key organizations supporting Petro.t.ex Africa include the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), the Minerals and Energy Education and Training Institute (MEETI), the Corrosion Institute of South Africa (CorriSA), and the South African Supplier Development Agency (SASDA).

Another workshop, “Master Reliability Centered Maintenance as a Technique to Troubleshoot Your Pumps and Valves,” was to be presented by Edgar Bradley, owner of Bradley C&E. He will explain how to assess the cost of pump maintenance, avoid or predict failures, estimate the life span of a pump and its running costs, and how to practice effective pump maintenance to reduce downtime.