This is how we make sure our pipelines remain in top condition Pipelink does everything in its power to ensure the mechanical integrity of its pipelines. Most importantly, we avoid corrosion with External Corrosion Direct Assessment (ECDA). Through various inspection methods, we then verify that the polyethylene coatings of existing pipes remain in top condition. Coating as a passive protection against corrosion The steel pipes used in the construction of our pipelines are coated with polyethylene. This coating is applied in the factory, after the pipes have been manufactured. The coating forms a first and passive level of protection against corrosion. Cathodic protection, a second level of protection Our steel pipelines are also equipped with an active cathodic protection. This is a method of corrosion control in which the potential of steel is actively lowered below a certain threshold, thereby significantly reducing the risk of corrosion in the event of coating failure. The proper functioning of the cathodic protection - as also required by Belgian legislation - is checked at regular intervals. Detection of coating failures Despite the above protection measures, corrosion may still occur in the vicinity of a coating failure. Therefore, it is very important that coating defects are detected in a timely manner. This can be done using specific inspections and checks, such as: The potential measurement of cathodic protection. This measurement gives an indication of the possible coating failure. A Direct Current Voltage Gradient (DCVG) survey, which can be used to localize coating failure. A Pearson survey, another technique for detecting the location of coating failures. Direct assessment If a coating failure is suspected on the basis of the above inspections and checks, a direct assessment is done. In this process, the indicated coating defect is excavated. We examine whether any corrosion has already occurred and its severity. If necessary, we take measures to repair the pipe and coating so that the pipe is tip top again. Post-assessment Once the above steps are completed, we evaluate all results and determine if additional inspections or actions are necessary. Want to know more about us or our inspection methods? Contact Pipelink. Read more: Successful audit of our safety management system
Are you, like Pipelink, in compliance with the recent Belgian legislation? In March 2022, Pipelink's legally required safety management system (SMS) successfully passed an external audit. This means Pipelink has succeeded in being ready for a major new phase in the safe operation of transport piping in Belgium by 30 June 2022. Updated safety rules In 2017 – after more than 25 years – the safety legislation (or Belgian Gas Law) on the management of high-pressure pipelines for the transport of liquids and gases was updated. Pipeline owners like Pipelink were given 5 years to comply with these new safety rules. One major requirement in this new legislation is to have an audited safety management system (SMS). For pipelines installed prior to 2017, the SMS needed to be audited by an external auditor by the end of June 2022. Pipelines licensed between 2017 and June 2022 even needed to comply with new legislative requirements within 1 year from its commissioning. External audit The audit of Pipelink's safety management system was carried out by an internationally renowned auditor, as approved by the government. Processes, procedures and inspection reports were among the things closely inspected during this audit. These were used to check whether Pipelink's safety management system met the stipulations imposed by the regulations. Pipelink is proud to report that this first test was passed with flying colours. No non-conformities emerged from this audit.