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Area classification and mechanical ignition source

ABB provide compliance with legislation and money saving pragmatic judgements.

The client operates an installation in the North Sea. The overall platform classification had not been reviewed since the asset was built in over 25 years ago. Modifications to equipment and modes of operation meant that it was out of date and needed to be updated order to comply with Regulation 9 (2)a of the Offshore Installations Prevention of Fire and Explosion and Emergency Response Regulations 1995 (PFEER).

They wished to assess the potential for the mechanical equipment installed in hazardous areas on their installation to produce an ignition source in order to demonstrate compliance with regulation 9 (2)d of PFEER.

Services provided

ABB were asked to carry out a full hazard area classification review, update the associated drawings and carry out a mechanical equipment risk assessment.

Area classification
ABB reviewed the existing area classification for the platform and identified discrepancies due to changes to the platform and updates to the codes and industry guidance for hazardous area classification. The study identified zones that needed to be changed; either made larger or more onerous or removed. The de-graded areas will lead to cost savings for the client, as the equipment specification and inspection & maintenance regime will not be as onerous.

Mechanical equipment risk assessment
ABB undertook an ignition source risk assessment covering mechanical equipment installed in the hazardous areas on the installation. The types and populations of the equipment had been taken from information gathered during the recent asset life study as well as data collected through document reviews. The potentially flammable zone information was taken from the updated hazardous area classification study. 

Throughout the project we utilised the ABB Hazmec® methodology to assess the mechanical equipment. The approach based on the guidance in the BS EN13463 ‘Non-electrical equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres’ suite of standards, and efficiently and effectively identifies potential ignition sources and recommends ignition source control measures. 

The unique approach has been developed over many years’ experience, both onshore and offshore and has been shown to be effective and efficient in a wide range of projects and industries.

Main data

Customer:  Offshore Platform
Site:  North Sea
Customer need:  Full hazard area classification review
Scope:  PFEER compliance of mechanical equipment installed in hazardous areas
Application:  Oil and Gas
Customer benefits:
Compliance with PFEER legislation
Accurate representation where flammable atmospheres
may exist
Reduced inspection and maintenance costs
Commissioning year: 2015