As the new TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory’s £16 million Advanced Multiphase Facility (AMF) moves closer to completion, yet another milestone for this ambitious project has been achieved - mechanical completion.
“The AMF construction and commissioning phases are progressing on target”, says Group Manager Muir Porter. “Currently, all pipework, steels, process equipment and plant are in place. In the next few weeks, focus is on the installation of the power supply, field terminations and finalising the process control software. Once these steps are complete, we can then move towards testing and commissioning.”
The project team are preparing themselves for a complex commissioning process, including functional testing and wet commissioning with fluids. During functional testing, individual instrument loops and drive loops are checked by electrical contractors for valves, pumps and instruments. In addition, the process control system is tested by the project team to ensure that all safety interlocks operate as designed.
“The most difficult part of this is the configuration of the process control system and leak testing of the facility” suggests Muir. Leak testing of such a large system at 150 bar represents a lot of stored energy, and it cannot be rushed; it must be done safely. We will pressurise with gas to 10 bar and check for major leaks which need resolved. Subsequently, this will be replaced with fluid and pressurised in 10 bar steps, checking for leaks throughout.”
Testing and commissioning of the AMF is planned for July and August, with the final handover of the facility taking place in September. The first commercial order has also been received.
The engineers who will operate the plant are those currently involved in the commissioning of it. “The future operators of the plant are the ones writing the work instructions and checking the process control software” adds Muir. “This is absolutely the best way to understand how the facility works and is ideal from both an operational and safety perspective.”
Designed to provide a new, best-in-class test facility, the AMF will focus predominantly on the £50-billion-per-annum global subsea sector. It will facilitate company-led industrial projects and product development, hands-on industry training and academic research. Creating at least 17 new jobs, the centre will futureproof the delivery of innovative technical services to the oil and gas production market for the next 25 years.
TÜV SÜD AG is investing £11.1 million in the Advanced Multiphase Facility (AMF) project, which is the largest capital investment to date in the company’s UK business. This money is being provided alongside a development funding investment of £4.9 million from Scottish Enterprise.
For more information, contact Muir Porter