Severn Glocon recently designed and manufactured the largest control valves in its 53-year history, at 42″ bore and 21t in weight. Over the next six months, four valves of this scale will be despatched from the Gloucester factory. Two are for the Ichthys LNG project in Australia and the others are destined for a Middle East oilfield.
Coping with their size and weight alone requires extensive logistics planning. This is particularly complex for the LNG valves that need to undergo cryogenic testing to prove they can operate reliably at temperatures as low as -160°C.
Future developments in the oil and gas industry will see valves of this size becoming a more regular feature. Severn Glocon has invested in technical expertise, facilities and infrastructure to meet the challenge. Rob Green, director of operations at Severn Glocon, explains: “As a control valve engineering specialist, we’re used to developing innovative solutions for difficult applications. However, valves of this size and scale bring a whole host of additional complexities. We extended the capacity of our in-house cryogenic testing facilities and developed robust operating procedures to ensure that the valves progress through production safely and efficiently. Manoeuvring valves of this size safely requires the co-ordinated operation of two cranes, so we needed to plan well and work closely with our sub-contractors.”