Dual modernizationIn 2013 the TAL Group decided to further modernize the safety systems of the Transalpine Pipeline. During this modernization, the safety controllers in the terminal, pumping, pressure relief and transfer stations are being replaced by SIL-3 certified HIMax controllers, and HIMatrix (SIL 3) safety systems are being deployed in the valve stations. Along with functional safety, the future-proof safety systems provide a high degree of cybersecurity, thanks in part to their independence from the process control system.
Twenty years ago, the Brühl-based safety experts replaced the existing pipeline safety systems with modern HIMA safety controllers. Since then these controllers have provided for reliable crude oil transport over the Alps, as well as Transalpine Pipeline compliance with extremely stringent safety demands. The HIMA systems ensure emergency shutdown (ESD) of the pipeline and help to keep the pipe pressure within the specified limits. If an incident occurs, for example a pump outage, the resulting pressure increase is counteracted by the targeted release of oil into pressure relief tanks.
Double protectionTo ensure high availability, the pipeline terminal station in Ingolstadt was equipped with distributed redundant safety systems located in different control rooms. This allows even the total outage of a control room, for example due to fire, to be accommodated. The sophisticated safety concept takes every conceivable hazard situation into account. Even in the event of a total outage of the Ingolstadt terminal station, the Transalpine Pipeline can continue operating safely under remote control from systems in Trieste and Munich.
“Safety is about prevention, qualification, monitoring and technical innovation”, says Johann Stopp, project manager for Electrical/Instruments Technical Assets at TAL. “In these areas HIMA has an outstanding track record as a competent and reliable partner over a period of two decades. The modernization of the safety systems, which we aim to complete with HIMA in the 2019/2020 time frame, is intended to safeguard the transport operation of the Transalpine Pipeline with regard to safety and security for the coming decades.”