Inspection and testing of secondary containment liners at terminal observed

Photo of repairs by Nelli Vanderburg.
Photo by Nelli Vanderburg.

On July 10, staffer Nelli Vanderburg visited the terminal to observe an inspection and repairs to drainage piping under the secondary containment liner. These pipes drain water from the secondary containment area after a rain. A manhole was also being installed.

While the pipes were being repaired, Alyeska took the opportunity to inspect and test the secondary containment liner. The liner is made of “catalytically blown asphalt,” or asphalt that has been blown into place, as opposed to poured. In the photo below, a section of the flexible liner is being cut. The cut section will be tested for permeability. The last inspection and testing of these liners was in 1992.

Recent inspections for potential pipe corrosion at terminal show encouraging results

By TOM KUCKERTZ
Project Manager for Terminal Operations

Some of the council’s concerns regarding the unknown condition of the crude oil piping at the Valdez Marine Terminal have been answered by inspections performed this summer by Alyeska.

Causeway to Berth 4 at the Valdez Marine Terminal. Scaffolding has been installed and covered with plastic tarps to keep Alyeska's inspection crews and exposed piping dry during inspection. Photo by tom Kuckertz.
Causeway to Berth 4 at the Valdez Marine Terminal. Scaffolding has been installed and covered with plastic tarps to keep Alyeska’s inspection crews and exposed piping dry during inspection. Photo by tom Kuckertz.

In 2012, a routine inspection by Alyeska personnel of the 20-inch vertical riser pipes that feed crude oil to the loading arms on Berth 4 at the terminal revealed the existence of serious corrosion in some of the girth welds. Girth welds are welds that extend around the diameter of a pipe, typically used to join two sections of pipe.

Following this discovery in 2012, the remaining riser pipes on Berths 4 and 5 were subjected to additional inspections. More occurrences of vertical pipe girth weld corrosion were found and repaired. The cause of the corrosion in that particular region was attributed to water collecting under the pipe’s insulation in combination with a missing anti-corrosion paint coating in the vicinity of the girth weld.

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Reliability Centered Maintenance at the Valdez Marine Terminal

As part of the right-of-way renewal of the grant and lease for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), the Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) paradigm was used as the basis for assuring a thirty-year remaining lifetime for TAPS. Without a strong maintenance program for all of its assets, there can be no guarantee that the life of the assets will be 30 years or in accord with the assumptions underpinning the decision to renew the grant and lease for another thirty years. In 2004, The Joint Pipeline Office (JPO) found that Alyeska had deferred considerable amounts of maintenance that were required by regulations perhaps in anticipation of replacing assets in accordance with Alyeska’s Strategic Reconfiguration. Now that the Strategic Reconfiguration for the VMT is essentially dead, it is important that all maintenance deferred pending a successful Strategic Reconfiguration be completed according to the schedule required by regulation.

This project seeks to verify that the maintenance required of each facility and subsystem at the VMT of concern to PWSRCAC has been identified by means of an RCM process. Additionally, this project seeks to verify that maintenance of VMT facilities is being accomplished in accordance with the dictates of the RCM reports produced for each of the VMT’s facilities and subsystems.

Reports:

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