Tag Archives: Alabama

Corrosion cited in Alabama pipeline explosion

A corroded pipe has been deemed the culprit of a massive natural gasoline explosion in Sweet Water, AL last December.

A Transco natural gas pipeline ruptured at approximately 3:07 p.m. Dec. 3 with an explosion that could be heard for more than 30 miles while shooting flames nearly 100 feet in the air for over an hour.

The pipeline was shutdown immediately after the failure as firefighters battled the blaze for the next 90 minutes.

“Although we have systems and processes in place to prevent and identify corrosion, our investigation indicated there were multiple factors working in conjunction that led to this problem not being recognized,” said Transco spokesman Chris Stockton. “Extremely corrosive soil conditions, combined with failures in the pipeline’s protective coating and cathodic protection system ultimately weakened the pipe, causing it to rupture.”

Stockton said the rupture forced the company to make several changes in its corrosion control program.

“These changes are designed to more closely monitor levels of pipeline protection from corrosion, assure a higher degree of protection equipment uptime, and provide higher standards for levels of corrosion protection,” he said. “We are also continuing our investigation into this failure to better enhance our corrosion control procedures in the future.”

Williams Gas and Pipeline has also been working under a PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) Corrective Action Order, which details actions required to be completed to ensure the safety of the pipeline prior to putting the pipeline back in service. In addition, he said, the company is taking steps above and beyond regulation to ensure the pipeline is safe.

“All anomalies are being carefully investigated and any metal loss indications will be repaired prior to placing the pipeline back in service,” Stockton said. “Once all anomalies have been repaired, the pipe will be hydrostatically tested, which involves filling the pipe with water and pressure-testing it at considerably higher pressures than our normal operating pressures. Once all of these tests are complete, we will seek PHMSA’s permission to restore the line back to service.”

SOURCE: http://www.demopolistimes.com/2012/02/21/corrosion-cited-in-pipeline-explosion/

New report sheds more light on U.S.S. Independence corrosion issue

A new report from Maritime Reporter & Engineering News sheds a little more light on the corrosion issues that hampered the U.S.S. Independence earlier this year.
Independence is the first littoral combat ship built at Austal USA’sMobile River shipyard. The company is Mobile’s largest industrial employer, working its way from 2,400 employees to about 4,000 over the next few years.

Austal worked as a subcontractor for General Dynamics Corp. on Independence and the future U.S.S. Coronado, which is under construction now. Austal will be the prime contractor on 10 more LCS after that.

Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman Chris Johnson is quoted in the Maritime Reporter story saying:
“The General Dynamics and Austal USA approach to prevent corrosion on LCS 2 was based on commercial practices and included a coating system on the exposed metal, electrical insulation of dissimilar metals and cathodic protection via sacrificial zinc anodes in the water jet tunnels. This design proved to be less effective than intended due to multiple factors including improper electrical insulation during installation. To provide more comprehensive protection, an ICCP system and additional sacrificial protection design is being finalized and will be implemented on LCS 2 during its Post Shakedown Availability (PSA); has already been installed on LCS 4; and will be included on LCS 6 and follow as a baseline change prior to the start of construction.”