Type B Compliance

02
Mar

Type B Compliance

Within Australia’s Oil & Gas industry, complying with Type B appliance standards is a hot issue, particularly for those who own, operate or maintain gas-fuelled reciprocating engines in Queensland. To operate legally in Queensland, all types of gas reciprocating engines need the appropriate certifications to ensure compliance is current.

Queensland regulations don’t stop with accreditations of current equipment, compliance standards are also applicable to:

  • New Type B gas engine installations;
  • Modifications to existing Type B gas engines and;
  • Existing Type B gas engines that are relocated.

 

Type B 2

 

Recently, regulators have been enforcing the standards to ensure companies’ Type B appliances, have the correct certifications. The cost of achieving compliance can be significant, especially if the submissions fail to recognise a problem, a particular clause of a standard has been misinterpreted. The multiple standards can be difficult to navigate, leave room for interpretation and can even be contradictory if a clear understanding is not achieved. Then after all the work is done, you find that your engine is still not compliant.

There are numerous instances when, after all the hard work has been done to prepare a submission, the asset is still not compliant and cannot commence operation. This exacerbates the costs associated with suspended production. Coupled with the resource, labour and time needed to achieve compliance, project expenses can quickly become substantial.

In industries such as gas and oil, there’s simply no room for inefficiency or cost blow outs. We have engaged energy companies on all levels and listened to the specific problems they’re. Frustration with compliance processes and a lack of clear, concise direction for the required submissions and subsequent approvals has left a lot of businesses in unsustainable positions. This grows worse when companies’ assets are spread across multiple locations, many enterprises oversee literally thousands of gas-fired engines in remote fields all over Queensland.

Standard stipulations

The relevant legislation nominates AS3814 as a ‘preferred standard’ for Industrial and commercial gas-fired appliances where demonstrating compliance is mandatory. However, interpretation of the clauses can differ from person to person or even company to company.

Australian Standards AS5601 is the gas installation standard and again is a ‘preferred standard’. Ensuring that the installation not only complies with AS5601 but AS3814 and/or AS1375 can be a difficult field to navigate. One missed clause or misinterpreted requirement can delay business operations, or worse, risk a future significant incident.

The stakeholders (including equipment owners and designers) are ultimately responsible for verifying that Type B gas engines meet all compulsory certifications and statutory compliance standards. In addition to this obligation, these stakeholders need to ensure that the designers, installers, maintainers, inspectors and others involved in the Type B certification process hold the install, commission and service Type B Gas Appliances and a Gas Work Authority Licences.

The cost of non-compliance can be difficult to quantify and will depend on the severity of the breach. As an example, imagine the cost of shutting down a compressor station whilst sourcing approved equipment, re-submitting a Technical Submission and then commissioning so that there is a compliant fuel train. This could take weeks, and the cost of lost production would be astronomical. Even without considering the significant risks associated with operational suspension, the cost of preparing the approval submission is also very high. Whether the submission is prepared with internal or external resources, the labour hours associated with collating, calculating, reviewing, submitting and managing the approval process are significant. Some clients have reported a submission to take, in excess of 200 resource hours for a complex design.

Bluefield addresses these challenges by using technology to optimize the costs of Hazardous Area and Type B compliance management. We have developed a tool that expedites Type B gas engine compliance The intent of the tool is to save significant time and costs when developing technical submissions, simplifying the process, removing rework and monumentally improve submission and installation quality to reduce the risks of a significant incident occurring.

We are interested in speaking with company’s who have type B appliances and understanding your problems to see if we can assist you in any way.


Comment

  1. Lamborghini
    August 28, 2017 at 1:06 am Reply

    Good afternoon. Thanks for this info! Great article.

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