We are surprised by the way the operability portion of the HAZOP analysis has slowly but systematically been removed from most HAZOP studies. The name itself contains operability (HAZard and OPerability Study).
We have found that looking closely at the operability portion of a HAZOP study can yield positive value, producing either reduced capital cost or reduced operating cost (or if you are lucky, both).
But what do our clients say?
“I am very glad to make reference for Mr. John Westover, From December, 2007 to February, 2008, Mr. John Westover worked as Hazop Leader for the basic engineering of our coal gasification unit, total investment of 600 million USD (one of the unit of a 2.5 billion USD SNCG project in China).
“Mr. John Westover has excellent background in both engineering and operation, also his presentation skill and delivery are absolutely excellent. He makes great contributions to our project in the field of process optimization, safety and operability…..
“As the Client of the project, we are very impressed.”
Chen Jian Ping
Design Safety & Process
Natural Resources – AMEC China
MAINTENANCE: Maintenance is an interesting part of the HAZOP study, and it provides some difficult to manage scenarios for the study team. Consider
- Maintenance activities normally occur about 5% of the time, so they are a required but abnormal operation.
- Maintenance activities are often performed next to a running facility. So many safeguards have been partially compromised (for example, the normal place for a person is now next to the process, instead of in the control room).
- Maintenance activities remove spare capacity. The spare pump you have relied on to maintain production is now in pieces, so what happens when there is a process upset AND maintenance personnel are in the process?
INSTRUMENTATION AND CONTROL: Are you making the correct decisions for your instrumentation and control systems and methods?
- Yes the instrumented protection system may conform to an appropriate standard (such as IEC61511), but is it really required? Something like installing a check valve may significantly reduce the governing overpressure scenario to eliminate numerous sensors and shut down valves (and the associated cabling, programming, and ongoing maintenance).
- When was the last time your HAZOP recommended an advanced control algorithm for one control loop? Most control systems have this feature at no extra purchase cost, and it is simply a matter of programming. It is one thing for the operating team to find the need for them. It is another for the commissioning team to find a need for them. But a better situation is for the HAZOP team to give all involved advance notice of the need for one on this particular control loop.
If you are looking for someone to tick your box that a HAZOP was performed, we are probably not the right people for you. If you are looking for a more thorough HAZOP assessment, please contact us.