Alimak Hek meets Hazardous Zone requirements for North Rankin Gas Platform - Offshore Technology | Oil and Gas News and Market Analysis
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Alimak Hek meets Hazardous Zone requirements for North Rankin Gas Platform

Alimak Hek recently configured the Alimak SE 1200 industrial lift with an explosion-proof rating to meet the hazardous zone requirements of the North Rankin A gas platform on the North West Shelf, Indian Ocean, Australia. With external call stations for non-man riding, the luggage lift may be called, loaded, and directed to the required level.

Platform expansion

Redevelopment and expansion of the North Rankin A platform by the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project includes the installation of a new North Rankin B Platform, connected by two 100m bridges to the existing North Rankin A Platform.

Located 135km north-west of Karratha, the NRA platform is one of the largest capacity gas production platforms in the world, producing more than 51,000t of gas and gas condensate daily.

Rack and pinion luggage lift

In March 2012, Woodside installed an Alimak SE 1200 industrial lift with explosion-proof rating on the North Rankin A platform. Available for use 24 hours a day, the luggage lift services the accommodation facilities onboard the platform, transporting workers’ luggage from the top of the accommodation module to the South Bridge pedestrian landing.

Alimak Hek’s challenge

Given the hazardous zone requirements of the gas production platform, Alimak Hek had three project challenges. First, the lift had to be configured to an Ex (explosion proof) rating. Second, it had to be fitted for non-man riding with external controls. Third, the lift had to undergo both an onshore and offshore installation in order to reduce the time required to complete installation, testing and commissioning of the platform itself.

An explosion-proof lift

Given the lift’s location on an offshore gas platform, hazardous zone requirements dictated that the lift be configured with an Ex rating. Alimak Hek worked closely with the client to ensure that the lift met both client specifications and zone requirements.

To achieve an Ex rating, the lift was designed and manufactured in compliance with the designated hazardous area requirements, classified under Zone 2, Gas Group IIA and Temperature Class T3.

In accordance with the Ex-rating of the lift, Alimak Hek provided complete Ex documentation and commissioning work packs for both the onshore and offshore installation phases.

External controls

As the lift was required to provide a safe, all-weather means of transporting luggage onboard the platform, it was necessary it lift be fitted with external call stations for non-man riding. In accordance with client specifications, Alimak Hek modified the electrical control circuit to allow for the use of the ‘call and send’ feature.

Given that the luggage lift was for the transportation of materials only, these external controls allowed personnel to operate the lift without the need to travel inside it. In this way, operators could call the lift using external call switches located on both the passenger living quarters roof and the South Bridge pedestrian landing, and then send the lift to the required level.

Onshore / offshore installation

In order to keep installation and training time onboard the offshore platform to a minimum, Alimak Hek completed both onshore and offshore commissioning, maintenance and operation training for the lift.

Onshore installation took place in the AOG shipyard in Kwinana, Western Australia. The lift shaft was constructed and erected at the onshore facility, allowing the lift to undergo full installation, testing and commissioning within the constructed lift shaft. Following onshore installation, the lift car was braced within the lift shaft, turned on its side and transported to the offshore platform for the final phase of commissioning.

Once erected on the offshore platform, the lift and lift shaft underwent the final stage of testing and commissioning, with personnel training conducted by Alimak-Hek-certified technicians.

The Alimak SE-Ex 1200 lift has been in operation on the North Rankin A platform since March 2012. Designed for intermittent service, the luggage goods lift has an expected life of 30 years minimum with regular maintenance.

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