Applus+ is awarded a NDT contract involving a new-build nitrogen mixing station in the Netherlands


    The project includes the inspection of the infrastructure to connect the current nitrogen plant to an additional nitrogen plant which is yet to be built.

    Applus+ is awarded a contract involving a new-build nitrogen mixing station in the Netherlands. The project started at the end of February 2020 and Applus+ will be involved in this project for around one year in total, divided into two phases. The scope of this project includes about 6400 welds and the following advanced and conventional services non-destructive testing: Rotoscan, Time of Flight Diffraction (ToFD), Ultrasonic Testing (UT), Magnetic ParticleTesting (MT) and Radiographic Testing (RT).

    In the Netherlands, more and more natural gas will be imported in the coming years. The main reason for this is that the production of natural gas in the Groningen (province of North Netherlands) gas field is declining. Imported natural gas has a higher calorific value (H gas) than the Groningen gas (G gas) that is used in, among other things, Dutch households. The imported H gas must be converted to G gas for the same purpose. This is done by adding nitrogen to the H gas. To be able to convert the H gas into G gas (pseudo G gas), a major gas energy network company in the Netherlands will provide transport and storage. The company needs to have access to sufficient nitrogen and have sufficient capacity to be able to mix the nitrogen with H gas. 

    The current nitrogen production capacity in East Groningen is not enough to meet the demand for G-gas from 2020 onwards. Therefore, the major gas energy network provider will expand the existing nitrogen production capacity by building a new nitrogen plant. 

    The mixing station will be able to mix high calorific gas from abroad with nitrogen, making it suitable for the low-calorific gas network. This initiative is important for reducing reliance on Groningen gas in the Netherlands. 

    All nitrogen that is not needed right away goes through a transport line to an underground storage cavern to remain stored until the energy is needed.

    Applus+ will perform advanced non-destructive testing on welds with a total of 400 welds to be examined in the first phase using Rotoscan, TOFD, UT, MT and RT for small diameters. The second phase will include the examination of 6000 welds.

    This contract is significant as it is the first project where we will be involved in a new-build nitrogen facility. At Applus+, we are looking forward to extending our knowledge of nitrogen facilities and supporting the client in safeguarding their operations by minimising hazards and protecting both the workforce and the environment.

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