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Major Oil Company Installs 40th Breakaway Coupling

Assentech, experts in tank storage and process safety, have announced that it has successfully delivered and installed its 40th breakaway coupling for a major UK oil company. The devices have been distributed to oil terminals throughout the UK in order to prevent uncontrolled spills.

This is the culmination of an extensive review of couplings and their performance undertaken by Assentech on behalf of by the oil company.

Three different safety options were investigated for suitability for the application. The company has invested heavily in research and development to ensure the most effective mechanism is available to industry.

Assentech recommended the KLAW Flip-Flap Valve breakaway coupling, which was readily accepted by the oil company. The Flip-Flap design was chosen for its efficient use of space, snap action and light weight. There is no leakage from partial breaks and in the event of a drive off activation is immediate and clean. Extensive testing was conducted both at the factory and on the customer’s premises.

The compact and light weight Flip-Flap design means the outside diameter of valve is similar to the standard delivery pipe so it doesn’t interfere with API coupler handle.  It gives excellent flow rates and being a similar weight to the standard pipe spool it replaces in the arm there is no need to adjust the counterweight mechanism to keep the arm balanced post installation.

Assentech engineers extensively review application details for each installation prior to installation of each coupling. The coupler must be sufficiently robust to resist daily handling for loading operations but have the correct breaking strain to protect the facility in the event of a drive off.

The coupling devices are used in truck, rail and ship-to-ship loading of fluids and gasses. They prevent unplanned spills and limits the loss of fluid to the environment preventing pollution and dangerous vapour clouds which can cause a significant explosion risk.

This coupling has the potential to be used as a fundamental safety mechanism for all Tier 1 COMAH (Control of Major Accidents and Hazards) sites in the UK. It is a key shield to protect the business from lost production, the environment from uncontrolled spillages and workers from hazardous fluids which can explode.

Assentech is also carrying out periodic inspections, an MoT for valves, as most accidents are caused by poor maintenance.

Ewart Cox, Managing Director of Assentech, said: “The oil company wanted to increase the level of safety on their and we were able to demonstrate the KLAW Flip-Flap design as the safest and most adaptable breakaway coupling for the safe running of their oil terminals. This is helping the company keep its workers safe, ensure its plant is working to peak efficiency and adhering to the strict laws that regulate this process.”

Process Industry Informer

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