Sep 1, 2014

Emergency shut-off valves increase reliability at Serbian refinery

With a large investment in its new mild hydrocracking and motor fuel hydrotreatment facility, the NIS Gazprom Neft refinery in Pančevo, Serbia, aimed to upgrade its production quality to Euro Level 5. To do so, it needed to match all European standards for safety and emissions. This meant that safety and compliance with regulations would be key criteria when selecting all systems and applications needed for proper refinery operation. Specifically, this applied to the critical valves selected for the burner management systems on the heaters as well as the truck and jetty loading system.

TEXT: Andreas Pischke

For any refinery, unplanned shutdowns are the equivalent of excessively high costs. For this reason, on-off and safety valves are needed to ensure maximum reliability. Moreover, a valve’s failure to faultlessly close in an emergency situation can have a major impact on people’s health and the environment.

As the valves handle explosive and toxic hydrocarbons, they must retain their initial gas shut-off tightness and be able to demonstrate a low fugitive emission level that complies with European standards over their entire operational life cycle. Otherwise, valve stem leakages can take place and impact an operator’s well-being as well as pollute the environment. To prevent this from happening, there are regular shutdowns for valve inspection scheduled regularly every four years.

Jamesbury Series 9000 burner fuel gas shut-off valvesSafe, reliable and simple

For the safety shut-off and venting applications in the newest truck and jetty loading station, the NIS refinery selected JamesburyTM high-performance valves. This included the firefighting system and new hydrocracking unit heater.

The type of ball valves chosen by NIS Gazprom Neft, namely Jamesbury Series 7000 and 9000, fully comply with the regulations relevant to the applications in the refinery. With their patented Lip-SealTM design and the unique XtremeTM seat sealing technology, these valves provide superior long-term bubble tightness and prevent overpressure during sudden temperature rises. This is an extremely important safety criterion for applications with highly inflammable media, such as that used in the burner management systems on the refinery’s heaters and also in the truck and jetty loading system.

Another requirement the NIS refinery had for the valves was their official compliance with the most stringent safety regulations. Notably, all Jamesbury valves are fire-safe according to API 607 and approved according to IEC 61508 SIL 3, guaranteeing their resistance to adverse conditions. Further safety protection is provided through Neles ValvGuardTM, the intelligent safety solenoid with a partial stroke testing feature.

Moreover, on both the Jamesbury ball valves and the high-performance Wafer-SphereTM butterfly valves, which were also included in the delivery package, the shaft sealing is designed to fulfill ISO 15848-1 BH and TA-Luft/VDI 2440. This means that their fugitive emissions level is also in full compliance with related regulations.

Besides their conformance with strict European safety requirements, all valve types delivered are designed with third-party criteria seen as the minimal standard, and therefore, provide many additional benefits. Specifically, their simple design preserves superior tightness throughout the high cycling and minimizes the cost of operation and maintenance. 

Securing high-quality production

The total valve package delivered to the NIS refinery included several different valves types, actuators and instrumentation with relevant approvals and certificates for emergency shut-off and venting applications. Now, the new valves with long-term tight shut-off help keep the plant and truck loading area emissions levels compliant with the relevant European standards, allowing uninterrupted operations.

This complete solution has enabled NIS Gazprom Neft to reliably, safely and efficiently achieve the desired run-time targets for its hydrocracking process, securing continual high-quality production of gasoline and diesel fuels without any risk to personnel or the environment. After all, every detail is important in potentially hazardous applications. The implemented modernization program at the refinery ensured that everything in the constructed facility is now designed to meet its targeted Euro 5 standards.

Published in Results flow control customer magazine 2/2015.

The text has been up-dated in July 2020, due to company name change to Neles.


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