Buncefield

- Knowsley monitors were there too

Published:  01 April, 2006

An important element of the Buncefield industrial response was Lindsey Oil Refinery’s EV2 foam tender holding 11,000 litres of foam liquid. It carried two Knowsley dual-geared monitors which provided an output of 3,600 lpm from a foam branchpipe. They played an essential role in actively ‘knocking down’ some of the oil fires and creating strategic gaps for other fire teams to enter the area.

Knowsley’s Tony Morrissey comments: “At Buncefield, Tank 906 was protected by a trailer-mounted Knowsley 4” oscillating monitor which created a continuous curtain of water to keep the tank cool. It functioned extremely well during the critical early stages of the incident and operated unattended for more than 12 hours effectively preventing the spread of fire from the vapour recovery unit.”
The oscillating monitor uses the firewater supply to drive a sealed-for-life triple reduction gearbox via a Pelton wheel drive. It has a capacity of up to 5,000 l/min an elevation of 75º and a depression of 70º. It oscillates at seven cycles per minute. The trailer mounted version can be very quickly deployed and once set up can be left unattended thus freeing fire fighters for other duties.
Speaking for Knowsley, Ian Korny reports:”We have always been at the forefront in the manufacture of firefighting solutions for high-risk industries, the recent upsurge in LNG processing is a perfect example. Knowsley SK have been providing fire protection solutions for LNG facilities for more than 20 years and have recently been selected as successful bidder for the South Hook LNG Terminal in Milford Haven.
“Our clients are companies and operators involved in LNG plants, offshore platforms, storage facilities and tank farms with most of our business outside the UK. The Caspian region, North & South Gulf areas, North & West Africa and South East Asia are all arenas where our equipment is currently in great demand.
“One of the reasons why we’re successful is the strength of our development work with end users, for example with BP in developing large volume oscillating monitors and hydrants.” Some of which have already been installed, for example, at the new purpose-built, LNG fire testing ground at Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas,” he comments.
The Pillar Hydrants
The new Knowsley SK ‘Polar IS’ all bronze Pillar Hydrant designed to combat extremely corrosive land conditions experienced on certain oil & gas sites around the world - this is a bronze version of the long established internally-valved self-draining Pillar Hydrant.
“We call it the ‘Polar IS’,” says Ian Korny, “because of its capability to withstand extremely cold climates (down to minus 48ºC) as a result of a positive self-draining design. To combat high water tables a unique water purging system has also been developed.”
Knowsley hydrants have been supplied to the Sakhalin Island oil and gas project in northern Russia where there has been much demand due to the building of new platforms and the construction of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure for export of natural gas to international markets.
“We have provided deluge systems to provide waterspray for the Sakhalin Island project. We have manufactured combined water deluge and foam-making units - five have recently been sent to Russia. “temperature might be as low as -48ºC,” Ian explains. 

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