Gas plant ATEX valve upgrade performance


Gas plant ATEX valve upgrade performance

Rotork completes a challenging valve actuation retrofit project on the Gas Booster Station at the giant Corus Scunthorpe Steel Works.

Rotork's performance throughout this project has been praised by the project manager.

The Rotork Retrofit contract involved changing twelve large electric actuators on 36 inch and 48 inch gate valves and installing a new actuator on a previously hand operated Emergency Shut Down (ESD) valve. The work was required following the reclassification of the Gas Booster plant as a Zone 2 hazardous area by Corus's own ATEX team under the directives of the latest legislation.

The plant makes Mixed Enhanced Gas (MEG) by boosting and mixing coke oven gas with blast furnace and natural gases at a rate of up to 30,000 cu.metres/hour, providing an economical main energy source for the weekly production of over 70,000 tons of steel sections, plate and rod at Scunthorpe. Since the operation of the entire steelworks is dependent upon the Gas Booster plant, it was essential to complete all the on-site retrofit activities within a very restricted window of pre-determined outages over a two-week period.

Within this span of time, the normally open valves had to be closed, old actuators removed and new ATEX certified Rotork IQ electric actuators fitted, wired up, commissioned and linked to a new centralised control room situated outside of the ATEX classified area. At the same time, the manually operated ESD valve was partly dismantled and fitted with Rotork designed adaptation assembly and a new IQ actuator.

George Mounsey, a Senior Project Engineer in the Corus Northern Engineering Services Projects & Technology department in charge of the Project takes up the story: "The importance of this project demanded good planning, careful management, close co-operation and attention to detail. Teams from Corus and Rotork worked together as a joint venture, Corus arranging outages, facilitating access, providing craning and supporting Rotork's activities around the valves, all of which are in elevated installations. Rotork ensured that the new actuators were expedited specifically to meet the Corus timescale and delivered punctually to their field engineers. The programme worked particularly well, we are pleased with the way that Rotork worked with us at every stage of the contract to meet the extremely restricted installation and commissioning period. As a result, the booster station was returned to operation on time, with the station's main control valves in a fully compliant ATEX Zone 2 area condition, without any disruption to the operation of the steelworks."