Alpha Process Controls, a member of the GT Group, has created a unique in-house testing centre to support the manufacture and commissioning of its family of marine emergency release couplings for LNG transfer.
The testing facility, which represents a £1million investment by the company, utilises a pressurised water system, which is calibrated to supply water at a comparable rate to LNG during ship to ship transfer, to ensure couplings deliver optimum performance and meet stringent industry standards.
In addition to testing new couplings, the centre can also manage the overhaul, retesting and re-commissioning of units that have already been in operation around the globe.
APC’s Marine ERC Breakaway Coupling System, which is available in sizes from 4 to 10 inch diameter, is part of a larger family of couplings developed by the company.
Alongside its experience of delivering solutions for onshore vehicle-based transfer of LNG, APC has undertaken extensive research and development to create cost-effective LNG safety couplings for the marine industry.
In the case of an emergency situation such as two vessels drifting apart, the system’s revolutionary control mechanism activate, even when LNG is in the full flow of transfer, closing down internal valves at a controlled rate.
In addition to ship to ship transfer, the system, which also utilises hose saddles developed by APC to maintain minimum hose bend radius during transfer operations, is also applicable to LNG Bunkering and LNG Bulk Breaking.
Press Release, July 15, 2014; Image: APC