T.D. Williamson UK (TDW), reported the successful completion of an inline inspection of a key gas pipeline for E.ON in Wales. The operation was carried out on the 30-inch line that stretches 2.6 kilometres from Burton Point AGI to Connah’s Quay Power Station. This intelligent inspection and associated pipeline service operation was carried out in association with a multi-site contract that was awarded to TDW by E.ON in August 2010, as part of E.ON’s strategic program to ensure the integrity of its pipelines and assets.
Pipeline in pristine nature reserve
The pipeline, which transports gas from the National Transmission System to Connah's Quay Power Station on the Dee Estuary, travels through a pristine 11-hectacre nature reserve, which is home to pintail, oystercatcher, and lapwing birds, among others. It is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area under the EC Conservation of Wild Birds Directive. The pipeline lies underground, and was intentionally routed in this manner so as not to disturb the wildlife and heritage sites.
Operation goes to plan
The scope of work included pipeline preparation, cleaning, geometry and corrosion inspections, Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping and cathodic protection/coating surveys. Using resources and equipment from the T.D. Williamson Centre of Excellence in Swindon, and by partnering with sub-suppliers, in just four days the entire scope was carried out smoothly, with no disruption to the normal operation of the pipeline. The result of seamless communication, careful preparation and planned execution translated easily into high quality inline inspection results that confirmed the integrity of the pipeline for continued operation.
Pipeline integrity underscores commitment to safety, the environment
“We were extremely pleased with TDW’s services and customer-focused execution,” said Stuart Armitage, Gas Assets Engineer - Connah’s Quay Power Station for E.ON. “Having a new team of contractors is always a worrying time, wondering if they will adapt and adhere to site rules. However, any worries were quickly dispelled as it was immediately obvious that TDW operated in a professional manner in all aspects of the work. The inspection results provided us with invaluable reassurance regarding the integrity of the pipeline, underlining our commitment to safety, and emphasising our ability to happily co-exist in a truly bio-diverse environment.”
TDW used a number of its high resolution inspection tools to inspect the pipeline. They include the deformation (DEF) tool for geometric anomaly inspection, the Gas Magnetic Flux Leakage (GMFL) inspection tool for corrosion inspection, and the XYZ Inertial Measurement Unit for GPS pipeline mapping.
Killingholme Power Station pipeline scheduled for inline inspection
Following on the success of the Q1 2011 operation, TDW is preparing to carry out a similar inline inspection on a 10-inch pipeline attached to E.ON’s Killingholme Power Station in Lincolnshire, England. To reduce the visual impact of this power station, E.ON has planted 40,000 plants, shrubs and trees. The site is landscaped in a natural manner to encourage the development of habitat for local wildlife. Inspection work will be performed without disrupting this environment.