State-of-the-Art Safety


10-12-2009 - HIMA Controllers Ensure Maximum Availability at Nordsee Gas Terminal

To modernize the safety technology used in its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility in Brunsbüttel (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany), Nordsee Gas Terminal GmbH & Co. KG will rely on three H51q systems from HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH + Co KG as emergency shutdown (ESD) systems. The systems help ensure safe operations at the only LPG sea import terminal in Germany.

One H51q system will be used as operating and monitoring systems, while  two additional controllers will serve as safety systems for the re-liquefaction process. These additional two controllers will monitor two physically separated, low-voltage installations for monitoring the tank cooling temperature. This dual-systems setup is designed to ensure the highest possible process availability.

HIMA has assumed responsibility for the hardware engineering of the safety solutions. The controllers will be commissioned at the beginning of 2010.

The HIMA systems can process more than 700 signals and meet the on-site requirements for SIL 2 in accordance with IEC 61508. The controllers are safely connected with one another via safeethernet, while the two plant buildings communicate via fiber optic cables. The HIMA systems communicate with third-party systems via PROFIBUS DP.

In explaining the choice of the HIMA solution, Hubert Ehrke, chief executive officer of Nordsee Gas Terminal GmbH & Co. KG, said, "The HIMA systems provide maximum availability, which is the deciding criterion for our plants. Another important factor is the safety-related communication that safeethernet offers. We have also been fully satisfied with the support HIMA provided during the entire project."

The Nordsee Gas Terminal is an import storage facility for liquefied petroleum gas (Propan). The LPG is delivered to the Elbe Port by tankers, then conveyed through a pipeline into a depressurised, cryogenic Fully Ref.-Tank (atmospheric pressure at -42 °C) and three additional mounded  pressure tanks. From there, it is loaded into rail tank cars and road tank cars. The LPG storage facility falls within the statutory order on hazardous incidents and is operated under strict safety measures.