In 2013 AIRfire Worldwide had been awarded by the Sudanese Petroleum Pipelines Company Ltd (SPPC) to supply automatic fire suppression systems for the new control building in the Port-Sudan Terminal Station, 672 km north-east of Khartoum on the Red sea. SPPC appointed AIRfire with protecting the most valuable equipment in its stations, control rooms, switchgear room, electronics and instrument rooms. The Sudanese public organization, owned by the Ministry of Oil, is mainly focused on the transportation of oil products for import-export using two pipelines of 8” and 12”, having lengths of 745 km each.
For SPPC it was fundamental that the solution proposed was internationally approved, eco-friendly, reliable and with high quality standards. The need for installing automatic fire suppression systems originated from the nature of the equipment on site. If a fire were to break out, the collateral effects would be devastating; the down-time in supplying oil products would directly affect Sudan as a whole, since the two SPPC’s pipelines are strategic for the country’s economy. Thanks to the new control building, not only will the necessary protection needs be covered, but also the increase in efficiency of operations by using the two pipelines in both directions. AIRfire Worldwide specialized in the fire safety and suppression system with years of experience in the production and distribution of gaseous fire suppression systems, answered to the client’s request providing the best solution in terms of efficiency and reliability.
AIRfire proposed IG-100 (Nitrogen) Inert systems stored in 80 litres 200 bar cylinders, being easy to refill locally as Nitrogen gas is the most commonly used in all industries worldwide. The cylinder size chosen will facilitate SPPC’s internal maintenance management as its reduced weight and size will not require new specific machinery, saving on maintenance costs and down-time. The Inert solution also provides higher efficiency in discharge allowing delocalised cylinder positioning from the assets being protected.
Due to the high-temperatures and harsh environmental conditions in Sudan, high-quality materials needed to be supplied to ensure the system design lifetime of at least 10 years. The project was managed locally by GLOBALTEC, official AIRfire partner in Sudan, who provides fast and competent support in the market, as it is very important to have facilities locally to be available in solving and supporting SPPC on after-sales service. “One of the challenges was to do the necessary training to the final client, SPPC, as due to national security reasons it is not easy for external companies to enter in such substations, so we decided to invite them to our facilities in Rome as well as visiting Khartoum for a live training and seminar” says Sergi Andreu, AIRfire Business developer. “It was also a great pleasure to see in person how satisfied the SPPC employees and their management were with the complete package provided, product and support, which is what differentiates AIRfire”.
“The product proposed by AIRfire completely matched our requests”- says Ashraf Shareef, Head of Safety in SPPC – “The factors that convinced us to choose AIRfire were essentially four: Firstly, the design complying with the NFPA and the European Standards; Secondly, the quality since it was a very good integration between excellent suppression product and excellent detection equipment from Advanced Electronics Products, whom were already chosen by SPPC three years back before the current project. Then the local technical support granted by GLOBALTEC because of the good and quick contact with their manufacturer and supplier AIRfire. Finally, the price as it was reasonably good”. “We have been pleased with this project for two main reasons”- continues Ashraf Shareef- “Six engineers from SPPC were trained by AIRfire in Italy, so we really appreciated the customer’s proximity showed by the company, supplying at all times all necessary technical documentation. Actually this was from the presentations held last March 2014 during which all our questions were answered”. The satisfaction from the client’s side was demonstrated also by the fact they decided to gradually replace the existing old system. Another proof that the professionalism and the customer’s proximity showed by AIRfire is a union that works very well, ensuring reliability and great results.