Standards in spotlight on APGA day four

APA Group Facilities Engineering Manager Claire Elkin kicked off the day’s presentations, explaining how recent AS 2885 code changes have enabled APA to implement world class maintenance best practices.

While discussing the pillars upon how best practices are developed, Ms Elkin used an analogy that all attendees could understand – brushing your teeth.

“But it’s not just about brushing your teeth,” she said while comparing the daily habit to an organisational equipment strategy.

“It’s about whether you do floss, or you don’t floss, how much toothpaste you have in your cupboard, whether you use your toothbrush until it’s bristled down, or you replace it on a routine 3-6 month basis.”

Ms Elkin urged for this to be considered for all operational equipment, saying “at the base line of reducing incidents, is prevention”.

Jemena Gas Engineering Manager Mike Peoples followed, with a presentation on the Northern Gas Pipeline’s operational achievements and challenges.

Overall, Mr Peoples said there were more than 9,000 separate engineering deliverables required – though all were completed on time and on budget.

Later in the afternoon, the spotlight turned back to industry standards, with GPA Engineering Lead Mechanical Engineer Josh Wickham and Epic Energy SA Principal Pipeline Engineer James Czornohalan discussing how Australian can use hydrogen in its existing assets and how standard changes can help.

Mr Czornohalan said with hydrogen use being a relatively new concept in Australia there were still a lot of unknowns – AS288.5 was only completed in 2016, yet it does not have a single mention of hydrogen.

“We got some questions to answer and we’ve got to answer them soon. As a pipeline industry, what are our desired outcomes?” he said.

While there are existing standards for hydrogen pipelines internationally, Australia still cannot rely on these as the nation’s pipelines are inherently different – generally, they are longer with smaller diameters, due to the country’s small population living far away from each other.

“We need a mechanism to capture all the research and start to develop some guidelines for the industry in between updates to AS 2885,” said Mr Wickham.

The final presentations of Convention day four saw OSD Pipelines Pipelines Manager Soheil Taherian present a case study on the challenges of returning old pipelines to service, while Georgiou Group Business Development Manager Phil Larson concluded the day by looking forward, past 2020.

“We have to make a conscious effort to change the way we think,” said Mr Larson, highlighting the importance of technology and digitalisation throughout the industry.

“COVID-19 has really created a compelling case to move forward with that,” which is a sentiment reflected in the importance of this year’s virtual alternative to APGA’s Annual Convention.

The Virtual Convention and Exhibition will run until 23 October.

Click here to view the full program.

For more information visit the APGA website.

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