LNG Plant Commissioning Process

gas station


What is the process of commissioning?

In some ways, the commissioning process may be seen of as a quality assurance procedure that allows the construction project teams to produce a building that is fully operational and meets all of the specifications. This is a critical contrast between the delivery of a physical structure and the delivery of a facility in complete operating order that is really functional for persons, companies, and the environment as a whole.

The idea of full functioning order necessitates the completion of a number of goals, and there are several elements that influence the performance of a structure and its engineering services in general. Design characteristics that will allow for verification activities such as functioning, pressure testing, and flow regulation are included into the process in general. Procedures that will cover prescribed settings to work, system regulation, and performance testing are also included. The commissioning process must also include user and operator training, as well as the creation of critical system documentation, in order to properly support building operation and usage in the future.

Stages of the commissioning process

In the commissioning process, there are eight steps, which are as follows: preparation, design, pre-construction, construction, commissioning of services, pre-handover preparation, first occupation preparation, and post-occupancy care.

A building’s actual energy consumption in the first year might be up to 25 percent greater than the estimate made during the design stage, and this is ascribed to insufficient commissioning and handover procedures during construction. doing the task successfully

All of the steps listed above, as well as beginning the commissioning process as soon as feasible, assure cost-effective project completion while also allowing the building’s inhabitants to optimize equipment utilization long after the construction process is complete, according to the manufacturer.

The following is a summary of the actions that were carried out at each stage:

Stage 1 – Planning and Preparation:

  • Assemble the commissioning team. 
  • Examine lessons learned and experiences gained from similar buildings and projects. 
  • Clearly define the performance outcomes expected by the client and the end user. 
  • Contribute to the development of a design brief that accurately represents the required performance

Stage 2 – Design:

  • Review the performance results with the client 
  • Ensure that the commissioning process activities have been clearly established 
  • Ensure that the performance outcomes reflect any modifications to the system/project design

Stage 3 – Pre-Construction: 

  • Ensure that the contractors understand the performance requirements. 
  • Verify that the trade contractors have the capability to satisfy the requirements of the commissioning process. 

Stage 4 – Post-Construction:

  • Develop a thorough commissioning program.
  • Carry out pre-commissioning work, which includes checking the installation work and running static tests. Verify and record that the desired performance objectives have been met.
  • Ensure that progress on the creation of the O&M manuals is made on a consistent basis.

Stage 5 – Commissioning of Engineering Services: 

  • Perform the initialization of systems and ensure that they are operational. 
  • Verify that the necessary performance and outcome objectives have been met or exceeded.
  • Performance testing of the building, equipment, and engineering services should be carried out. Make that the specified performance levels have been met and record this in writing.
  • Include members of the facilities management team in the commissioning process.
  • Gather all of the commissioning checklists and test papers in one place.

Stage 6 – Preparation for Handover

  • Examine the quality of the documentation evidence gathered throughout the commissioning process’s activities.
  • Maintain completeness and accuracy of all necessary statutory paperwork.
  • Provide users and operators with instruction and guidance.
  • Create and distribute user manuals for the building.
  • Examine the needs of the customer and respond to any discrepancies.

7. Initial Occupation:

  • Introduce the user to their equipment or premises and demonstrate how it works.
  • Assist the facilities management team with the earliest phases of the building’s operation
  • Refresh commissioning records in line with and after approval of any revisions
  • Update the operation and maintenance manuals to reflect any modifications that have been authorized.

Stage 8 – Post-occupancy care 

  • Seasonal commissioning. 
  • Fine tuning of the building and its engineer services.
  • Building performance evidence is collected and reviewed. 
  • Commissioning records and operation and maintenance manuals are updated in accordance with seasonal commissioning and fine-tuning work. 
  • Lessons learned are produced by comparing building performance to design intent, client stakeholder expectations and industry benchmarks.

Documentation for the commissioning and transfer of services

construction site

Building handover information is incomplete without the inclusion of commissioning process verification and test records, which are crucial components of the handover information. It is not only important to have proof that the desired performance objectives have been reached, but it is also important to have knowledge about the method in which the system has been configured for operation in case any enhancement, modification, or fine-tuning work is needed after handover.

The summary commissioning process is the post-installation procedure that occurs prior to the start-up and operation of the system. It assures that the equipment that has been installed and linked will operate at peak efficiency from the beginning, while also validating that the performance of the LNG equipment has been reached. It is possible to complete this procedure on site at the client’s option, and it includes a complete system assessment and optimization, as well as staff training and demonstration, as well as supporting documentation to support equipment usage now and in the future.

Starting up and commissioning your natural gas processing facility is a time-consuming process.

Start-up and commissioning are the last stages of preparations required before a natural gas processing plant or comparable processing facility can be put into production. The operations carried out throughout the start-up and commissioning phases should guarantee that the facility will function safely and in accordance with its design specifications and specifications.

The majority of EPC turnkey contracts include this phase as part of the overall package. Engineers, field technicians, and operations people will comb over every inch of the plant, inspecting hundreds of connections, instruments, valves, and other pieces of equipment. This time- and labor-intensive procedure will take many months. Depending on how sophisticated the facility is, it might take weeks or even months to finish.

The following are some of the particular tasks involved in the start-up and commissioning process:

Checklist for Successful Completion

A completion checklist will be created by the start-up and commissioning manager as the building project nears completion. This list will serve as a check to ensure that each and every component of the facility has been completed. As each mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and auxiliary component is finished, it is checked off the list of completed components. All of the ancillary components, such as office space for the operators and break rooms, are included in the price. The customers and their EPC contractor collaborate to ensure that the facility meets the expectations of all parties involved.

Verification via Mechanical Means

After the completion checklist has been completed, the mechanical verification process may commence. P&IDs (piping and instrumentation diagrams) and mechanical design drawings will be extensively inspected by engineers to confirm that all piping and instrumentation has been installed in accordance with the specifications specified on the plans.

The valves will be examined to ensure that they satisfy the pressure and temperature standards of the pipe system in which they are installed. At this phase, the proper access to the valves, as well as the orientation and performance of the valves, are also examined. Pressure safety valves (PSVs) are subjected to a more extensive examination procedure than other valves. In natural gas processing facilities, pressure relief valves (PSVs) are an essential safety component because they prevent pipes and equipment from being overpressured, which might result in catastrophic equipment failures or a loss of containment to the surrounding environment. These valves are inspected to ensure that they are put in the proper places and that the PSVs are adjusted to the proper operating pressure and flow rate.

All of the vessels, columns/towers, heat exchangers, heaters/flares, and tanks will be inspected to ensure that they are correctly placed and that all of the necessary connections have been made and are properly attached. At this stage, the grounding connections, heat tracing (if necessary), insulation (if necessary), and the paint will all be checked for proper operation.

Additionally, all of the rotating equipment’s drivers are “bumped tested” to ensure that they are operating with the appropriate rotational speed. Also checked are the control valves, to ensure that the correct valve has been installed in the correct spot.

Checking the Instrumentation and Electrical System

The Instrumentation and Electrical Check Out process may begin after a mechanical system has been granted the green light. The control system for the natural gas processing plant must be thoroughly verified before it can be put into operation. The overall goal of this examination is to ensure that the control system is correctly linked to the components and that they are all functioning as intended by the manufacturer.

It is necessary to examine electrical wiring for safety and quality. All electrical systems are examined to design schematics and drawings to ensure that they are in compliance. Electric motors that are linked to fans, compressors, and pumps are also taken into consideration. Following the completion of the inspections, the functioning of each connection (Loop) is evaluated by executing “Loop Checks.” The loop checks entail testing each control loop over the control system and having an operator verify in the field that the physical device is doing what the control system is telling it to do or reading the proper value, if the device is a measurement device, according to the control system’s instructions.

A range of alerts and safety features are also included in the control system. These indicate when one or more of the monitored system variables, such as pressure, temperature, level, or flow, deviates from the usual design point to the point when the operator must be notified because the equipment or facility may be in danger. These are checked by sending electrical impulses to the sensors to ensure that they are operating properly, and the relevant alarms will sound when particular conditions are reached in the process or in the surrounding area of the facility, respectively.

Inspections towards the end of the process

All modifications made throughout the inspection/testing procedure mentioned above will be documented by engineers or other members of the team responsible for the process. All of the systems will be examined once more after the completion of the repair.

A certain amount of troubleshooting is to be anticipated when dealing with a facility as complicated as a natural-gas processing plant. A well-versed engineering and design team, as well as high-quality workmanship from an EPC contractor, will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth inspection procedure in the future.

Getting Your Natural Gas Processing Facility Up and Running

The start-up procedure may begin if both the customer and the contractor are pleased with the results of all of the inspections and testing, and both parties have signed off on the facility.

Before a product can be put into a system, it is necessary to completely purge all of the air from the equipment and pipes. Typically, a dry, inert gas such as nitrogen is used to do this, although dry natural gas or liquid hydrocarbon may also be utilized in some portions of the plant where they are acceptable. After the air has been cleansed from the facility, it may be put into operation in a methodical manner.

The Most Important Factors in Starting and Commissioning a Business

Both the physical and soft strengths of a company are vital when undertaking a big infrastructure investment of this magnitude. The integrity, quality, and dedication to safety of a company are just as vital as the technical abilities necessary to design and construct the facility. Choose a business with a strong reputation in both sectors since it will serve you well at this phase of the project and for the duration of the facility’s existence.

No matter whether you want to hire an EPC contractor to complete a turnkey project or if you choose to handle portion of the construction in-house, meticulous attention to detail is essential, especially as you prepare to go into operation. The quality of the work performed during the start-up and commissioning phases will have a direct influence on the overall safety of the facility.

Start-up and maintenance, the importance of commissioning should not be overlooked in the haste to begin operations. These check-ins and inspections act as the last line of defense in your facility’s security. Examining hundreds of individual components that make up a natural gas processing complex is a difficult thing to accomplish. For the project to remain on schedule and minimize delays, it is essential that this phase be handled proactively.

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