Safety and standards were the final two topics of discussion which brought gasworld’s conference, held in Singapore, to a close in yesterday afternoon’s final session.


And two excellent, and well respected, key figures from the industrial gas family were chosen to mark the historic occasion of gasworld’s inaugural visit to South East Asia.

Hector Villarreal, from Weldcoa, assumed his role as chairman for the afternoon session and invited Wing-Keong Low to provide the conference with information about the Asia Industrial Gases Association – otherwise known as AIGA.

Low began by saying that the Asia Pacific market is “one of the fastest growing in the world”. Because of such potential, in the 1990’s the industry leaders chose to gather and create a pact to ensure more cooperation between the associations (like the CGA, EIGA, JIMGA) and created IOMA.

“AIGA was created in 2003 by the seven founding members who, to this day, are still part of group – which now has a membership of over 20 people,” stated Low.

He continued to highlight the priority areas of AIGA – which ranged from safety and incident sharing, to the transportation of packaged and bulk gases.

“There have been 76 publications from AIGA since 2004 along with several training packages and safety bulletins,” said Low who then brought his presentation to a close by summarising the information he had given.

Then it was time for Dr Roy Irani to give his presentation, titled Necessity is the Mother of Invention: A Novel Standard for Requalifying Jumbo Pressure Vessels.

Irani gave examples of inventions that had dramatic impacts on life as we now know it, like the lightbulb and the aeroplane, and then highlighted Chesterfield’s news that the BS 8562 has been launched.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched a new standard for the inspection and testing of high pressure (HP) gas tubes which cannot be removed once they have been installed.

The Standard was created in a response to industry concerns over safety, as previous guidance for this was far less specific than for re-test methods for transportable tubes.

The standard was proposed to BSI by Chesterfield Special Cylinders, which contributed to its development along with other members of the British Compressed Gases Association and the Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed).

Mr Irani said, “The BS 8562 is a non-destructive ‘In Situ’ examination and testing of refillable seamless steel tubes of water capacity between 150 l and 3,000 l which are used for compressed gases.”

It is applicable to HP tubes in locations where their removal would be hazardous or impossible (e.g. offshore oil installations) or where the downtime required to remove the vessel would hinder the safe operation of a plant or service (e.g. power generation, hospitals, advanced research applications and marine installations such as heave compensation systems on semi-submersible drilling rigs).

Mr Irani commented that it is “a unique standard” which is next to be developed into an EN/ISO standard.

Chesterfield Special Cylinders’ re-testing technology specialist, Mark Dickens, said, “There has been a long-standing concern with regard to tubes whose removal is impractical.  A lack of detailed examination and re-test criteria can lead to insufficient or unsuitable written schemes of work, which can create safety issues.”

“By addressing the absence of specific testing guidelines for fixed tubes, the new Standard employs non-destructive capabilities, including acoustic emission testing, and so provides an equivalent level of requalification to accepted and proven national and international standards including BS EN 1968: 2002 and ISO 6406: 2005.”

Dan Palmer, BSI’s Head of Market Development, commented: “There are many situations, such as on oil rigs, ships or vehicles, where it is dangerous or impractical to remove cylinders for inspection. This new standard will help companies save on downtime costs, by allowing cylinders to be inspected without the need to dismantle equipment.”

The new Standard also includes a comprehensive list of supplementary tests, such as ultrasonic examination and eddy current inspection, to support the minimum test requirements.