Lloyd's Register Wins Renewal, Extension of Interconnector Contract

Lloyd's Register EMEA's contract with Interconnector (UK) Limited for provision of integrity services for the Europe to UK gas pipeline system has been renewed and extended to cover the entire pipeline and gas processing operations within the UK and Belgium. The contract now also covers the Zeebrugge onshore pipeline sections and gas handling facilities.

The Interconnector gas pipeline system is used to transfer gas in either direction between Europe and the UK via a 40-inch diameter pipeline that is owned and operated by Interconnector (UK) Limited, I(UK). Following the recent commissioning of gas compression facilities in Zeebrugge, the system will have the ability to import, on average, approximately 22% of the UK's gas requirement. The safe availability of gas supply is vital to the UK, so the integrity of the system is of paramount importance.

The signing of this agreement cements the well-established and successful relationship between Lloyd's Register EMEA and I(UK). Lloyd's Register EMEA has provided integrity support services for the Interconnector pipeline since it commenced operation in 1998. The initial contract to supply pipeline and subsea support services was extended in 2002 to include the onshore gas-handling facilities at Bacton. The inclusion of the Zeebrugge facilities now means that Lloyd's Register EMEA provides integrity services for the entire system, including:

  • onshore facilities (safety valves, pressure vessels, heat exchangers, pipework, etc)
  • pipeline system (underwater pipeline, shipping lane crossings, landfalls and onshore sections).

Lloyd's Register EMEA is responsible for all key inspection and corrosion management activities, including:

  • development and maintenance of inspection strategies, risk assessment and risk-based schemes of examination
  • inspection and monitoring of equipment, including sub-contracting of subsea survey services and intelligent pigging services
  • assessment of results and reporting on fitness for purpose
  • development and maintenance of key pipeline integrity documents.

Lloyd's Register EMEA also provides a number of associated, ad hoc engineering consultancy services, including detailed stress analysis and operational support.

The new contract will be managed centrally by Lloyd's Register EMEA's Aberdeen Integrity Services department with local support from the Lowestoft and Antwerp offices. As part of the service, Lloyd's Register EMEA has provided a duty subsea engineer 24/7 call-out service since 1999.

Ron Edgar, Lloyd's Register EMEA's Integrity Services Manager said: "Lloyd's Register EMEA is very proud to have been associated with this nationally important project for so long and we look forward to continuing our valued relationship with Interconnector (UK) Limited. The cross-border nature of this project will require strong project and technical control - a task which we can match and we look forward to showing Interconnector that Lloyd's Register EMEA can make this a seamless and successful operation."

The Lloyd's Register Group is an independent risk management organization that works to help to improve its clients' quality, safety, environmental and business performance throughout the world, because life matters. Its expertise and activities cover railways, shipping, oil and gas, and other asset-based industries. The Group comprises charities and non-charitable companies, with the latter supporting the charities in their public benefit goals.

Interconnector (UK) Ltd operates a sub-sea pipeline and terminal facilities connecting Bacton in Norfolk and Zeebrugge in Belgium. It is capable of transporting 23.5 billion cubic meters a year (bcm/yr) from Zeebrugge to Bacton and 20 bcm/yr in the opposite direction. Capacity in the pipeline has been sold to gas shippers. A dedicated and award winning IT system, ISIS, manages the volumes and flows and provides constantly updated information to I(UK) and its customers.

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