FLARE TIP REPLACEMENT PACKAGE (V-FLARE)
Vertech’s V-Flare Specialist Package provides end-to-end maintenance, remediation and replacement services for onshore or offshore flare tips. Using a combination of inspection techniques, Non-destructive Testing (NDT) methods, rope access and specialist access systems, our expert team can create a solution to exactly meet the needs of any client.
As flare tip replacement, remediation or repair projects are typically completed during shutdown, turnaround, or outage periods, these scopes are usually the critical path to production. Delays can cost operators millions in lost revenue. Over the last decade, Vertech has refined our pre-planning, pre-mobilisation training and work scope assessment processes to ensure every small detail is accounted for and our teams arrive on-site armed with everything necessary to deliver the job safely, on time and within budget.
Vertech has completed many flare tip replacement and repairs projects in the Asia Pacific region, providing;
Flare Survey & Inspection
Vertech can offer a fully accredited surveying and inspection service to ascertain the condition of a flare's structure, tip and associated ancillaries. Inspection data and photogrammetry can be used to closely monitor areas of concern or the ongoing condition, allowing to effectively plan for required maintenance years in advance of critical replacements, repairs or remediation projects.
Our CASA accredited Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAV) can complete UHD visual inspections of piping, structure, ancillaries, and the flare tip itself during normal operations. This data can then be used to generate a digital twin of the flare, high-resolution 3D models (with measurement) and annotation tools. UAV’s can also provide the data sets required to build comprehensive work packs, access plans, remediation plans and rescue procedures well in advance of implementation.
Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) involves detecting and assessing flaws in materials without causing damage. Vertech Group is certified to ISO 17205 as an NDT inspection body by the National Association of Testing Authorities Accreditation (NATA). With over a decade of experience in the application of NDT, Vertech’s IRATA personnel can provide a full suite of inspections to quantify the condition of the flare structure.
Flare Project Planning
The foundations of a successful flare project are built through detailed planning and early engagement with the implementation team, engineering team, operator and other specialist contractors. Early engagement ensures a comprehensive and shared understanding of the specifics of the project and its unique challenges while aligning all parties on the most efficient methodology to complete the scope in its entirety.
Regardless of the age of the asset or condition of the associated structure, our experience with detailed surveying is invaluable to the planning phase as it removes assumptions while also reducing the risk of variables when we arrive on site.
Vertech’s V-FLARE package has been refined over a number of tip replacement and specialist flare maintenance projects across Australasia. Our V-FLARE project planning capability includes a comprehensive array of project management services to complement the operator’s personnel and ensure a safe, efficient, and high-quality implementation procedure. Scope of works in this area include;
Flare Tip Replacement
Flare tip replacements require meticulous project and activity planning. Ensuring there is a good interface between the contracting parties and site leadership is critical to successful project execution.
Vertech has a team of multi-skilled maintenance specialists who are experienced in the unique challenges associated with flare tip replacements, flare remediation and flare construction. If the complexity of the scope warrants it, Vertech have constructed replicas of the flare structure in our training facility to familiarise each member of the team with the scope and the equipment specific to the project. Scope specific training is invaluable and enables maximum efficiency when the teams are on site.
Our flare tip replacement experience covers the use of; helicopters to complete the flare tip lifts; using vessels as transport/lay-downs; predesigned flare handling packages; and custom-designed lifting packages to remove and replace flare tips safely.
In our experience, no flare tip or flare structure is ever the same. However, the fundamentals of a successful project never change PEOPLE, SAFETY, QUALITY, INNOVATION !!!
As Flare tip projects are typically completed during shutdown, turnaround, or outage periods, our team plan preventative maintenance, upgrades or critical repairs to be as time-efficient as possible. Work done in this time can be a significant value add to the asset, extend the life of the structure, and save OPEX costs throughout the life of the asset.
Detailed inspection and surveying data is initially collated by our UAV and IRATA NDT teams, then continuously reviewed throughout the flare project planning phase. This approach allows us to optimise the scope and schedule other critical remediation or repair works during the project time window. Vertech's specialist maintenance teams will assess every elevation of the structure as part of a flare tip replacement and identify additional scopes of work that can be completed during the flare maintenance window of opportunity.
- Removal and Replacement of Nav Aids
- Belzona Repairs of Critical Structural Members
- Application of Composite Repairs
- Application of Corrosion Inhibiting Coating Systems
- Structural Reinforcement Installations
2020 Pluto Flare Maintenance
During UAV inspections, a damaged CHS member within the PLUTO LNG flare tower structure at the +114m level was identified. The member had broken along the tongue plate to the CHS member connection point. A project was initiated to remove the member, along with other at-risk members under the same stresses. Vertech's multi-disciplined, specialist maintenance teams worked on 24hr operations to; replace 12 CHS members; install DROPS protection for all horizontal members (clamp & chain assembly); perform an inspection using ECI & MPI NDT methods; replace the flare ignitor frames, cables & pilot gas hoses; and complete a close visual inspection of the flare tips.
GWA Flare Tip Change
Vertech provided project management, coordination, and planning services in partnership with Woodside Energy’s EPCM Wood, to deliver the GWA flare tip change out. Using a custom flare tip handling package, our IRATA rope access, rigging, mechanical and coatings teams replaced the flare tip located 160m above sea level (120m above deck) on a vertically designed flare tower. In addition to the flare tip replacement, Vertech specialist maintenance personnel also completed the replacement of Nav Aids, Belzona repairs of critical structural members, NDT inspections, visual inspections, developed coatings procedures, and installed adhesion testing.
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, preparation, a custom-designed ultra-lightweight scaffold system capable of holding 2.5 Tons, handrails made of fibreglass, and the implementation of 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.
2019 USA LNG Flare Build
Vertech’s USA team was engaged by Bechtel to erect the flare tower structure and mount a flare tip on the Corpus Christi LNG plant in Texas, USA. The structure was assembled successfully by using IRATA rope access techniques and multi-skilled specialist maintenance personnel. The scope included pipe and mechanical fitting, steel erection, cold cutting, welding, complex structural rigging, electrical and cabling works, as well as coating touch-ups. The project was a success and illustrated that experienced, high-mobility IRATA trades teams could save significant cost and achieve significant safety benefits.
Angel Flare Tip Change
UAV inspection on the Angel Platform's flare tip identified defects that could compromise production. A project was initiated to replace the flare tip, and Vertech was engaged in establishing a methodology to access the flare boom using rope access, then install an “A” frame and gantry rail system capable of lifting the 5-tonne flare tip 110 meters above sea level.Multiple systems were custom-designed to complete this project, including; a quick install roller system to secure the trolley to the flare boom guide rails, a capstan winch and Tyrolean combination to haul material 110m quickly, and a temporary access platform with an associated securing mechanism.
GWA Flare Structure Remediation
A UAV survey identified critical repair requirements on the LP flare stack of the GWA offshore platform. Vertech along with other specialists explored possibilities for temporary repairs to be installed. A mock-up of the LP flare was fabricated and installed in Vertech’s training facility to test the final engineered clamp solution and the proposed products. Vertech provided IRATA NDT and specialist maintenance teams to carry out UT inspection, rigging, and torquing to implement the repair solution. The affected areas were covered by a 6mm plate, bonded with belzona, and wrapped in composite. Installation of an engineered clamping system was carried out and completed successfully within a 3 days window