Remote actuated valves developed to withstand extreme environments

Published:  27 September, 2007

Running over 1700 kilometres from the Mediterranean Ceyhan terminal through 3 countries to the Caspian Sea the new BTC (Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan) crude oil pipeline presented some new technical challenges for electro-hydraulic actuator specialist Midland-ACS. The company has been manufacturing remote actuated valves for oil and gas applications for over 20 years, but the -290C to +400C operating temperature range along the BTC pipeline required mechanical construction predominantly of 316 stainless steel and full Zone 1 (Eexd) compliancy.

Hydrocarbon reserves in the Caspian Region have attracted massive international interest from gas and oil companies resulting in joint ventures being established to explore the reserves. With the potential there for raising output the new BTC crude pipeline has been constructed by BP for the Turkish government owned company Botas. Based on prior experience, a reputation for quality and a global technical support network Midland-ACS were chosen by Botas to design, engineer, manufacture and commission actuated valves for the pipeline's Ceyhan Marine Terminal in addition to 4 of it"s pumping stations along the route.

Midland-ACS has now developed and supplied 20 Self-Contained Electro-hydraulic pipeline actuators controlling valves ranging in size from 8" to 32". In order for the actuators to withstand the harsh and extreme conditions they would be subject to and also to ensure longevity, specialist sealing technology and in-house manufactured 316 stainless steel hydraulic cylinders, pipework and pilot valves were used.

The actuator assembly also includes a hydraulic reserve tank used for pressure, flow control and re-injection, providing accurate positional, modulating, and fail-safe control of the larger main valve. Weather protection is provided for the electrical connections by using Eexd rated cables, glands and termination.

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