VALVES manufacturer Valco Group will carry out fugitive emissions testing at a Perth facility on a high-specification valve developed at its workshops in France, where the company is based.

Valco Group regional director Australia Jerome Monteiro told Oil & Gas Australia that the 8’’ Class 600 Gate valve had previously passed fugitive emissions testing successfully at Valco Group’s own facilities.

“The aim of this demonstration is to feature our product’s quality over stringent testing procedures but also showing up that we can have local participation in our demonstration,” he said.

To conduct the testing, which is set to take place in May, Valco Group will also send out a technician who holds a COFREND level 2 accreditation in leak tightness by tracing gas.

“We will have to mobilise our testing expert from France as we were unable to find fully accredited personnel in Australia during our search,” Mr Monteiro said.

The testing, which will take place at the CSIRO’s facilities in the Perth suburb of Kensington, will use measurement tools calibrated against Australian standards, he added.

CSIRO staff and Valco Group’s technician will pressurise the valve with helium during testing before using a mass spectrometer to detect any molecules that may escape.

“We focus on specific sealing areas of the valve, sniffing around those with the probe of the mass spectrometer, measuring how many molecules of helium are escaping from this region which allow us to calculate a leakage rate,” Mr Monteiro said.

“Basically this is the most restrictive leakage test you can do on a valve within our industry,” he added.

The testing will take place after the valve is displayed for visitors at 18th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas in April, Mr Monteiro said.

What set this valve apart from its competition is its adherence to Shell’s Material and Equipment Standards and Code (MESC) and testing specifications SHELL SPE 77/300/312.

“I think Valco Group, with its expertise within the LNG field starting in 1964, currently sits among the few manufacturers able to answer such requirements at the time of testing,” Mr Montiero said.

Valco Group had recently expanded its worldwide operations with openings of a few sales offices and servicing workshops in Africa, Middle-East and South East Asia. The Perth office follows the group’s strategy to increase its global footprint, Mr Monteiro added.

With its first brand established in 1829, Valco Group is now a world leading valves manufacturer involved within the power generation industry (nuclear and conventional), Oil & Gas downstream activities, defence, marine & mining/chemicals sectors.

Valco Group’s expertise within the LNG field started in 1964 with the delivery of high-end valves for the Jules Verne LNG carrier, built in France.

The group delivered its first valves to an Australian project in the early 1990s, when it sold valves to the construction of the Woodside Karratha Gas Plant.

It has since provided valves to downstream assets in Australia, and most recently cryogenic valves to the hull of the Shell Prelude Floating LNG facility.

For further information on this article, please visit Valco Group at their LNG18 Booth number 1366 or contact via email at contact@valcogroup.com.au.