A helicopter approaching the NRA Flare boom to install the new Flare tip as part of a V-FLARE package for woodside energy

NRC HP & LP Flare Tip Change

In 2019, the decision was made to use a helicopter to remove the North Rankin Alpha HP Flare tip. The helicopter lift required careful planning and preparation, a custom-designed ultra-lightweight scaffold system capable of holding 2.5 Tons, handrails made of fibreglass, and a custom lifting davit.

A flare tip replica was used to trial these concepts in Vertech’s training facility with Woodside and Wood in attendance. The flare tip was successfully changed out during the 2019 shutdown window using a multi-disciplined rope access team and vital support from a helicopter operator.

The Challenge

The main purpose of this project was to replace the HP & LP flare tips on the North Rankin Alpha site. The focus was on minimising plant and personnel risk and completing the work quickly, safely, and efficiently.

Vertech Group were contracted to provide temporary rope access platforms to assist with the flare tip replacement using their equipment and expert team.

The Preparation

Vertech provided a suite of project management, engineering and planning services, including supporting the sequencing, lift planning, HAZIDs, work pack preparation and procurement.

A replica flare structure was erected in the Vertech training facility for mock trials to ensure maximum efficiency for the execution phase. The simulated training allowed us to identify several efficiencies and potential risks that we were able to remove before implementation during a short shutdown window.

The Execution

Vertech’s rope access solutions were critical in this process. They enabled the erecting of the appropriate scaffolding platforms at the flare tip and at the base, as required.

These platforms could be erected and deconstructed with minimum interference from the rest of the site, allowing the project to continue undisturbed.

Client Feedback

The Schedule Recovery performance of 58.5hrs shown below is an impressive effort from the Vertech Team, given the late start.

It becomes even more impressive when we consider the fact that we have experienced 33hrs downtime due to Weather Conditions during this scope.

If this had not occurred, the team would have delivered RFSU only 20.5hrs ahead of the baseline finish date after being 112hrs late in starting.

During their downtime, the Vertech Team have effectively delivered the implementation of the Flare Bellows scope for the TA Team which has been a challenging project in and of itself

Pleasingly this also represents the safe and successful completion of all Brownfield Projects Turnaround Scopes.

A Job very well done by the boys.”

Paul Challis
Project Superintendent

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A photo of the North Rankin C out in the ocean.
NRC HP & LP Flare Tip Change
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