DNV GL has reorganized its research and testing capability in the UK, adding a facility at Bishop Auckland, County Durham, UK, to the portfolio.
The site, formerly known as the Flow Centre, has been positioned to complement and enhance the explosion and blast research and testing capability at Spadeadam in Cumbria.
Gary Tomlin, DNV GL vice president, safety and risk, UK, will manage both facilities. “The research and testing site at Bishop Auckland is unique. It has a long history serving the gas industry and primarily does work for the distribution and transmission networks. The facility has now been expanded to serve the offshore sector and we have on-site the only vertical test rig for subsea safety valves in the world. This means a test can be carried out on valves to simulate operational conditions several hundred meters below the seabed,” he said.
The Bishop Auckland test facility has one of the largest high-pressure natural gas test facilities in the world. It is connected to the UK national gas transmission system and uses dry natural gas at pressures from approximately 38 to 55 bar and flow rates from 20 to 19500 actual m3/hr with nominal gas temperature of 5° to 10°C. A wide range of components from 1-in. to 48-in. diameter can be gas-flow tested.
Calibration of pressure and temperature equipment is also performed along with dimensional calibration of orifice plates in on-site laboratories. In Cumbria, the Spadeadam Testing and Research Centre is one of the world's most advanced locations for full-scale destructive- and nondestructive testing for the oil and gas, chemical, utilities, and security industries. It is the largest facility of its kind in the UK, covering more than 50 hectares within Ministry of Defence land. It gives companies a rare opportunity to conduct “real-life” research in a controlled, confidential, and secure environment.
Hari Vamadevan, DNV GL regional manager for the UK, said, “The two facilities relate so well to one another, it makes perfect sense to consolidate these world-class sites and operate them as one unit. The plan is to make these assets the focal point of research in the UK, where we can capitalize on the many joint industry projects we undertake every year.”