STATS Group and National Gas win IGEM Award for innovative pipeline isolation technology

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STATS Group and National Gas win IGEM Award for innovative pipeline isolation technology

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STATS Group's 48in Remote Tecno Plug in situ St Cyrus, Montrose (© STATS Group)
STATS Group's 48in Remote Tecno Plug in situ St Cyrus, Montrose (© STATS Group)

STATS Group and National Gas have been awarded the prestigious IGEM/EUA Gas Industry Award for Product of the Year for their collaborative work on substantially reducing emissions on a strategically important pipeline replacement project.

This award recognises their pioneering use of STATS' Remote Tecno Plug® (RTP) during the Lochside IJ Replacement Project at St Cyrus, Scotland, and marked the first operational use of the RTP on the National Transmission System.

Following this successful deployment, the RTP will be added to the range of standard solutions available to National Gas for repair and maintenance projects, helping to reduce project timelines and emissions across their pipeline network.

The RTP is an innovative pipeline isolation tool that provides a fail-safe, leak-tight double block and bleed isolation. This enabled the 48" diameter pipeline to remain fully pressurised at 55 bar for 56 km during replacement of an insulation joint and was used instead of traditional venting or recompression operations.

Neil Mackay, Group Senior Business Development Manager at STATS, said: "In collaboration with National Gas and third-party validation from Pipeline Integrity Engineers and DNV, we've proven this technology can greatly reduce or even eliminate venting emissions for pipeline maintenance activities.

“We're honoured to receive this award recognising the RTP’s innovative design and significant emissions reduction capabilities and look forward to working with National Gas on other strategic national infrastructure projects.”

Compared to traditional recompression methods previously used, the RTP reduced emissions on the Lochside project by 24 times - discharging just 9.5 tonnes of gas instead of 233 tonnes if venting was used.

The carbon savings are estimated to be the equivalent of switching off 1,760 gas boilers for a year or taking 1,000 cars off UK roads. The installation and testing process also took only 24 hours versus six weeks for pipeline recompression operations.

In addition to the compelling emissions benefits, the RTP improves safety by enabling critical repairs while keeping the pipeline pressurised, and reduces maintenance time and costs.

Kirsty McDermott, Senior Engineer at National Gas, said: "The Remote Tecno Plug exemplifies the type of innovative technology that will be critical for the gas transmission industry to meet its net-zero targets. We're proud to collaborate with STATS to lead adoption of this game-changing solution."

With over 40 potential future applications already identified on the National Transmission System, the RTP is poised to make a significant impact on pipeline emissions reductions in the UK and beyond. 

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