DNV GL announced the opening of a new training center at its large-scale testing and research facility at Spadeadam in Cumbria, UK. The Spadeadam Testing and Research Center will run full-scale experiments using available test rigs for CostFX, a DNV GL-led joint industry project (JIP) aimed at investigating cost-efficient explosion load descriptions for process areas.
The JIP, which is still open to new participants, is driven by a need to improve and align knowledge between structural disciplines and health, safety, and environment on explosion load criteria. DNV GL hopes to reduce complexity and overdesign in current models and methodologies for explosion protection while balancing the demand for valid safety margins.
The results of the JIP will be used to generate standards and guidelines that allow structural engineers to predefine design explosion loads for standard installations, mitigating the need for specialist analyses. For nonstandard installations, a direct link from complex explosion load assessments to structure response and design analyses will be provided.
More than GBP 3 million has been invested in the Spadeadam center. Elisabeth Tørstad, chief executive officer at DNV GL, said the center will provide its clients with the knowledge and understanding to ensure reduced risk in operations.
“While the industry is understandably preoccupied with generating shorter-term value, we must be vigilant in ensuring safety as a top priority,” Tørstad said. “Our challenge is to continue giving the message to clients that cutting costs without understanding the bigger risk picture can end up being ineffective, and ultimately very costly to the business.”
Work carried out at the site consists of confidential large-scale, major hazard tests, including flammable gas dispersion, fires, explosions, pipeline fracture tests, and blast and product testing.
“Although the oil and gas and other industries are facing challenging times, safety is one area which cannot be compromised, and it is important that we provide an environment where research and training can be conducted safely, securely, and confidentially,” said Hari Vamadevan, regional manager for the UK and West Africa at DNV GL.