Signum, Shell present world first STS system

Thursday, 01 August 2019
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Equipment developer Signum Technology Group has tested a new ship-to-ship hose LNG transfer system in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell at the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The technology was developed by Signum subsidiary KLAW LNG and certified as compact level 2 Safety Integrity Level and Safety Instrumented System (SILSIS). The system was tested on-board Shell’s bunker vessel Cardissa.

“The question of safety is always the main driver of technology in LNG transfer and ship-to-ship bunkering is innately challenging due to the need to factor in adverse tide and weather conditions and the unpredictable movement of the two vessels,” Jeff Vile, sales and compliance
director at Sginum, said.

World first HTS system

The new system is the first SIL2 compliant Ship-to-Ship bunkering HTS system, thanks to a fully-automated Programme Logic Controlled (PLC) Safety Instrumented System, which allows for continuous monitoring and diagnosis.

“At a very early stage in the project we took the view that it was necessary to innovate and drive the technology forward, not just to meet the rigorous safety standard but also to achieve a level of operational efficiency that far exceeds any other,” Vile explained.

The novel design allows for almost completely automated operation, vastly reducing the potential for human error.

Two-stage ESD

An integral two-stage ESD emergency shutdown system also provides an escalated response on demand. This ensures shut down of cargo transfer pumps and transfer lines in the first stage, followed by emergency release couplings and complete separation of the transfer system in the second stage.

“In choosing to work with us on this truly ground-breaking technology Shell demonstrates that it prioritises ultimate levels of safety and is prepared to make an appropriate investment to achieve what is unquestionably the highest standard in the industry,” Vile concluded.

Trelleborg acquisition

Engineering group Signum is based in Wiltshire in the UK and delivers safety critical solutions for flow control applications. The successful testing of the new system attracted interest from Swedish engineering group Trelleborg, with the firm announcing it had acquired Signum Technology in July via its Trelleborg Industrial Solutions unit.

“We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Signum. Combined, we are creating a very attractive offering of integrated packages and safety critical systems for both LNG ship-to- ship and ship-to-shore transfer in demanding industries,” Jean-Paul Mindermann, president of Trelleborg Industrial Solutions, commented.

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