Articles & Case Studies

Chinese Oil Refinery Protected by Netherlocks

Posted: Monday 2nd June 2008

One of the largest oil-refining projects in China, the Xinjiang Dushanzi Project, is due to have over 700 Netherlocks valve safety devices installed. HQCEC, the EDC contractor for this CNPC* project, recently bought 718 MRL valve locks from the Dutch company to make sure that the highest standards of safety will be ensured in the facility.

Compared to other potential products, Netherlocks’ range was able to offer crucial advantages in terms of improved performance and reliability at low temperatures and in high-stress environments – such as those expected at the Dushanzi site. The Netherlocks valve interlocks eliminate the potential for human error in processes which involve the operation of manual valves, requiring safe procedure to be followed. The locks physically prevent a user from performing potentially dangerous actions, protecting people and property from potential damage: until the correct, unique key is inserted, the Multi-Rotation Lock will not allow the valve to be operated.

So far, this is the largest number of interlocks provided for such a venture in China, reflecting both the size of the project and the increased focus on safety that is becoming so important in China. The increasing demands for oil consumption in the country are placing a strain on the current supply infrastructure, and as a result vast resources are being put into redeveloping existing and building new facilities. Safety systems are an integral part of the modernisation effort, and high-quality interlocks of proven provenance are invaluable in such dangerous applications as this.

The Xinjiang Dushanzi Oil Refining Project is upgrading an existing oil refinery and petrochemical complex located in the Dushanzi district of Karamay City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. This new project has had a total investment of around RMB 30 billion (~£2bn GBP); it will reportedly be highest oil and chemical refining investment in the country upon its completion. The plant will be processing over 10 million tons of crude oil per year, and the annual production target of 1.2 million tons of ethylene is expected to earn Dushanzi Petrochemical Company a yearly revenue in excess of RMB 40 billion.

*Note: HQCEC is the Huan Qiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation, and CNPC is the China National Petroleum Company.

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