Promat Protects Giant UK Gas Terminal

Fire protection specialist Promat UK Limited has been called in to help safeguard one of the UK’s key energy assets. The project is the South Hook Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Milford Haven in Wales. When it’s completed, the £6.1 – billion terminal will provide enough gas to meet about one fifth of Britain’s demand for energy.

Promat is supplying its Fendolite sprayed protection system for South Hook’s steelwork and storage vessels. It’s also protecting electrical cables, with Durasteel steel-faced fit and forget fire ducting.

“This is a massive project for us and a real vote of confidence in Promat,” says John Stevenson, Promat’s managing director. “It’s testimony to the quality and spread of our product range and Promat’s reputation that we’ve been asked to play such a crucial role.”

Fire protection is clearly critical for a fuel terminal. Promat is known as the industry leader. Its passive fire protection products and systems have been tried and tested by clients including property developer British Land, the London Underground, the Ministry of Defence, Heathrow’s Terminal 5, and the Palm Jumeirah development in Dubai.

The company bought Fendolite’s manufacturer, Cafco international, last August. That widened Promat’s product range to include renowned sprayed protection solutions for structural fire protection, high temperature insulation and industrial applications. South Hook is a big challenge, nevertheless.

The terminal, owned and operated by Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, is one link in a 9000-mile LNG chain, from gas fields in Qatar, to Europe and the United States. When it’s completed in 2010, South Hook will have the capacity to deliver nearly 60-million cubic metres of natural gas to the UK, every day.

The terminal is in the site of a former Esso refinery that shut down in the 1980s. It’s undergoing a complete transformation. It will feature 5 giant storage tanks, each 155,000m3 in capacity. The jetty is being refurbished to cater for a fleet of new super tankers that will deliver LNG from Qatar. A regasification plant will warm and reprocess the LNG into gas.

Promat’s Fendolite M11 is being sprayed on around 21,000m2 of steelwork and storage vessels. This is a factory-controlled premix based on vermiculite and Portland cement. It’s designed to withstand the thermal shocks experienced in high intensity hydrocarbon fire and is used for fire protection throughout the oil, gas, petrochemical and power industries.

Fendolite has a formidable track record, built-up over more than 30 years. It forms a protective coating around steel that provides up to 240 minutes fire resistance. Its performance in real hydrocarbon fire conditions is excellent. Fendolite is more reliable and durable than alternative epoxy-based systems The coating is also resistant to LNG spillage.

Much of the South Hook work was done off-site, saving significant construction time. The specifier and main contractor is CB&I John Brown. Meanwhile, specialist sub-contractor R&S Fire & Security is installing 2500 m2 of 9.5mm thickness Durasteel. It’s protecting electrical cables that are passing above a road, from any fire hazards from vehicles below. Durasteel is a composite sheet made with a core of fibre cement sandwiched between mechanically-bonded galvanised steel facings. Its fire protection is combined with lightness and durability. It can withstand prolonged exposure to fire – up to six hours – and, while hot, will withstand spray from fire-fighters’ hoses or sprinkler action.

Durasteel is also renowned for its impact and blast resistance. As well as fire-rated ducting, it is used for fire barriers and fire doors.

Typical areas include distribution, storage and warehousing, military buildings, petro-chemical plants and offshore platforms, airports, underground stations, road and rail tunnels, utilities’ installations and fire resistant ducting applications in major commercial and public assembly buildings.

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